Dimer started sipping alcohol when he was nine years old. At first, he was just curious. He found it unpleasant then. But as he aged, his desire for alcohol grew. It was his coping mechanism from stress and constant bullies. He would find himself buying from a local store and drinking on his own.
In his early 20s, his liquor taste turned into an addiction. His addiction worsened as years went by, affecting his relationships with his family, friends, and workmates. He wanted to put an end to it, but somehow, his addiction is just too strong to handle. Eventually, he developed depression and anxiety.
Just like Dimer, countless people worldwide are struggling with alcohol addiction. It’s like a disease that plagues a family, a friendship, or a community. It not only affects the person’s life but even those around him/her. Alcohol addiction is much more prevalent among men.
There are a variety of reasons why someone gets drawn to alcoholism. Among these are to escape stress, to feel good, to cope with loss, to deal with shame, to forget trauma, to overcome anxiety, and to feel connected.
In relation, some researchers suggest that alcohol addiction can be a result of varying factors such as genetics, sex, race, and socioeconomic status. Psychological and behavioral factors can also lead to such a condition. Experts, however, stress that there is no single cause. This makes alcohol addiction a complex issue to solve.
But, there is hope. A lot of alcohol-addicted people were able to overcome. It is not a comfortable journey. Some recovered in months while it took many years for others.
So, if you are one of those people who is struggling with alcoholism or if you know someone, here are some of the most effective ways to deal with it. Not just for a while. But for the long-term. A lot of people have already testified that these methods work.
Rehabilitation programs have two types, namely, inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. Inpatient rehab requires one to stay in a facility to undergo recovery routines. It mostly takes 30 to 90 days. It is applicable, especially for those with severe addiction. On the other hand, outpatient rehab allows a patient to undertake the program while going on with his daily life routine. Both ways can work, depending on the level of one’s addiction.
Because of the prevalence of alcohol addiction, numerous rehabilitation centers have been established. It has successfully treated thousands, mostly owed to its personalized approach in dealing with alcohol abuse.
Anonymous and Support Groups
In every addiction, support groups or sober communities are imperative regardless of the level of addiction. These groups can help one deal with the temptations and frustrations of alcoholism. One reason why its hard for a lot to overcome their addiction is because of judgments and misconception from the people around them.
The support groups, therefore, provide them with an avenue where they are not judged. Instead, they are empowered to support each other emotionally and socially continually. Eventually, they form new and healthy friendships. And they become accountable to one another every time one relapses.
Some of the popular groups are SMART Recovery, Sober Recovery, and Alcoholics Anonymous, which follow a 12-step program.
Counseling is more of dealing with the emotional roots of alcohol addiction. It is a needed approach because alcoholism usually roots from unresolved personal issues such as childhood trauma, lack of connection, bullying, broken family, and others. Since such addiction is also classified as a disease of the brain, counseling is, therefore, a necessary element towards healing addiction.
A counselor will be assigned during counseling sessions. He/she will provide the necessary support and guidance entailed to achieve and maintain a person’s recovery.
Specifically, the counselor roles are: to listen to the patients issues and help identify the roots of alcohol abuse, to create a structured recovery process that’s customized to the person’s needs, to determine emotional triggers that are leading to alcoholism, to educate a person on techniques to maintain recovery, to assess the progress of the person, and to offer encouragement and support.
It is crucial, however, that a counselor should be chosen carefully to meet a person’s needs and issues. There are various types of therapies being used by alcohol counselors. Among these are cognitive behavioral therapy, holistic therapies, and dual-diagnostic therapy.
Each of them addresses specific issues. That is why it is essential that after choosing your counselor, you need to properly and religiously follow the process. In that way, both of you can identify which type should be applied first.
A lot of people who struggled with alcohol addiction testified that their faith played a big part. Regardless of religion, a spiritual community and inclination can significantly contribute to the healing process.
In fact, more and more rehabilitation centers are integrating spirituality in their processes and programs. A lot of scientific researches have also proven that spirituality can help a person recover from any form of addiction and subsequently, lead a happier and more meaningful life.
Engage in Meaningful Activities/Hobbies
As I’ve hinted earlier, alcohol addiction can be a result of boredom, lack of purpose, or frustration over the personal or environmental situation. It could also be because of low self-esteem or self-worth.
These alcoholism triggers can gradually wane with meaningful activities or engagements. Among these are advocacy-related events such as tree planting, community organizing, outreach to the sick or elderly homes, fundraising for poverty-stricken areas, and many others.
These not only help deviate a person from temptation but also develop passion and a sense of fulfillment. Eventually, the person gets to see a bigger picture not just of himself but the world at large.
A person can also engage in healthy and productive habits such as gardening, painting, writing, or traveling.
Indeed, alcohol addiction is a real disease that needs healing. It may be a tough and long journey. But the stories of thousands of people who finally won over their addiction speak of the fact that there is hope. There is healing.
The above ways of overcoming addiction are just a few of the many. But to make all these happen, a person needs to decide for himself that he is struggling and that he needs help. And that will make all the difference.