Alcohol Addiction Recovery
Our society seeks quick fixes to everything. People facing a health crisis want the doctor to cut the problem out, put in a new one or regulate it with a pill. There is no quick fix for alcohol addiction recovery. Recovery is a lifetime process that starts out with a great amount of effort needed to stay sober in the beginning. This progresses to much time passing by without any desire to take a drink. By far, the critical stage is right after initial treatment.
Understanding Alcohol Addiction Recovery
There are several phases of alcohol addiction recovery. The first phase is recognition of the problem. One may know people who are clearly alcoholics. They may have been arrested for alcohol-related offenses, lost good jobs and even been divorced over alcohol use. They may be visibly drunk every day. However, it is not necessary to be visibly drunk to be an alcoholic. Anyone who feels a compulsion to drink, and who experiences any negative quality of life due to alcohol consumption, is an alcoholic.
Treatments follow a plan due to physiological as well as psychological issues regarding alcohol abuse. The second phase is self-denial or forced denial of alcohol when treatment begins. The short term goal is to break the actual physical addiction to the drug. The compulsion that remains is then dealt with over a lifetime. There are tools and methods available as well as clinics that treat alcoholism, breaking the physical cycle of addiction of even the toughest cases. It is up to the individual as to what happens next.
The remaining phases include reintegration back into society with abstinence from alcohol being sought no matter what the former abuser now does for family time, work and entertainment. Some, especially in the early stages, must completely avoid all old lifestyle habits. Old friends who still go out with drinking are the reason behind many relapses.
The Role of Aftercare in Alcohol Addiction Recovery
It is crucial to maintain a routine of pursuing help to maintain abstinence. There is no reason to be alone during critical times when the compulsion to drink returns. Even though the physical addiction will have passed by this point, there are powerful psychological factors that induce strong cravings to drink in the early stages of aftercare recovery. A solid infrastructure of people one can go to for help to get through the rough spots is a real help to avoiding relapse.
Maintaining Sobriety Post Alcohol Addiction Treatment
There comes a point where support in alcohol recovery will be relied upon less and less. The new pattern will be to not drink, no matter what the former triggers were. After a time, many alcoholics can be exposed to others who drink and not have cravings themselves. However, catastrophic life incidents can bring back old desires. This is why maintaining a point of contact with those who work in treatment are a big help. Losing a job, divorce or a death in the family are times when just talking to someone who understands helps.
Never forget that it was easy to fall into alcoholism the first time. The thing that has changed about it is the desire to abstain for the greater reward of living free from being an alcoholic. Remembering the problems of alcohol abuse in the past is a good motivation for continued abstinence.