Alcoholism is a serious epidemic. Approximately 15 million American adults suffer from alcohol use disorders. If you are trying to overcome an alcohol addiction, you are not alone.
Dealing with alcoholism can be a long, frustrating journey. You will have highs and lows, sometimes even fighting with your own mind and body. Addiction is a nasty foe to fight, and it’s okay to ask for help along the way as you work to retrain your brain and overcome your cravings. Everyone’s journey will be different, so allow yourself grace and time with your personal experience. With the right steps and a good support system, you can overcome alcohol addiction. Continue reading for a basic step-by-step guide to know where to start.
Know the Signs
Drinking is a form of socialization, but there are clear signs when your interest in drinking goes beyond recreation and turns into a serious disease. The first step in combating alcohol addiction is knowing how to recognize if you have a problem. Tell-tale signs of alcohol abuse include:
- Drinking more than you intended without realizing it
- Craving alcohol
- Having continued thoughts that you should stop or cut back
- Blacking out consistently
- Allowing your alcohol consumption to affect your life, job, family, or other obligations
- Sacrificing friendships to feed your addiction
- Using alcohol to combat feelings of loneliness, depression, or anxiety
If you have experienced one or more of these thoughts in the past year, it may be time for you to seek out a treatment plan.
Set a Goal
When you first set out on your journey to combat your alcohol problem, you want to set clear, achievable goals. Saying ”I’m going to quit soon” isn’t good enough. You need to decide on the specific date to stop drinking or make a clear path with steps that will allow you to cut back to a healthy amount. You also need to make a plan to reach your goal, eliminate temptations, and mentally prepare for a big lifestyle change. Remember that your goal is personal to you; when you set it, it helps to remind yourself why this is means so much to you. Motivation is key, so think of your family, job, or even just your how own quality of life could improve without your addiction.
Overcoming anything hard should never be done alone. The next step is to find your support system. Depending on how serious your dependence, this can mean many different things. You can try to handle the problem with the support of your family and friends. You can choose to join a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous to find other recovering individuals who can share their struggles with you. If you’re dealing with a serious addiction, alcohol rehab Los Angeles facilities can also help. Outpatient centers are constantly updating their methods to help you overcome this disease through counseling, medication, and other therapeutic solutions. What you’re experiencing is a complex mental health issue that affects multiple parts of the brain. You are not weak if you seek out help to control it.
Seek Medical Help
Upon seeking further medical treatment, stay open with your doctors. Addiction is a form of mental illness, so you may want to pursue treatment for your mental health from a counselor or therapist. Most health care providers will include this care in your plan. If you’re having problems getting covered by your medishare provider, you may want to speak with your employer about researching better group health insurance. The cost of insurance is high enough, so demand that your business include treatment plans for addiction.
Plan for Withdrawal and Cravings
Once you’re on track for sober living, you need a specific plan for your withdrawal and cravings. Be deliberate when avoiding triggers or areas of temptation. Also be mentally prepared for the physical manifestations of withdrawal. These can include headaches, sweats, exhaustion, and trouble sleeping as a result of cutting alcohol out of your life.
Find New Meaning
With this lifestyle change, it’s time to find new meaning and joy in your life. Pursue new interests, reinvest time with your family, and learn better ways to cope with stress. Continuing to find motivation and meaning without alcohol will keep your mind off alcohol in the short term, and will be sure to help you stay healthier in the long run.