Alcohol addiction is defined by a person’s unrelenting need for alcohol.
Due to the varying chemical, genetic, and social factors, addiction to alcohol is life threatening and difficult to overcome.
Alcohol addiction is often connected to genetic links, variants, and environmental factors. Alcoholism is the most common form of substance abuse, with over seventeen million people addicted. In addition, several millions more engage in behavior that could result in long lasting alcohol addiction.
In the United States, alcohol is a legal substance that is easily accessible for purchase.
Alcoholism is a Chemical Dependency
Alcohol addiction is a disease with strong chemical components, which affect the body.
Through alcohol abuse, dopamine floods the body in excessive amounts. The euphoric feeling is often what addicts look to replicate repeatedly. However, it is a toxic illness. If alcohol abusers continue to chase the temporary effects of alcohol, their addiction will leave them with serious consequences. Alcoholics suffer from a variety of health problems, like seizures, headaches, liver damage, brain damage, and possibly death (if the addiction goes unchecked and untreated).
Increasing alcohol consumption solidifies any genetic inclinations towards addiction. Consistently abusing alcohol does permanent damage, causing the brain to struggle more when trying to stop alcohol consumption. Addiction to alcohol is incredibly dangerous.
It is a chemical dependency and disease. It can happen to anyone, at any age.
Now, let’s take a look at those five reasons you should seek support during your journey to sobriety.
1. Difficulty in Breaking a Chemical Dependency
Whether it is a physical disease or a mental health illness, all patients need the help of others.
And alcoholism is disease, which affects the mind and body. The difficulty of breaking a chemical dependency cannot be done alone.
2. Medical and Mental Health Professionals Are Specifically Trained For Addiction
Medical doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals (drug and alcohol counselors) at primary treatment centers are trained specifically to help addicts to stop using an addictive substance and to get rid of its toxic effects from the body.
Treatment facilities may administer medication to ease the painful effects of withdrawal and detox, based on the patient’s needs. Alcohol is a psychoactive substance, which is “psychologically and physically addictive.” Certain patients may need medication for their health and safety. This is done at the discretion of physicians and other medical professionals.
3. Twelve-Step Programs Are Designed To Help Alcoholics
The twelve-step facilitation therapy used for programs like Alcoholics Anonymous has been around for decades. Its methodology relies on the principle that alcoholism is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. While the goal for lifelong sobriety is always at their core, they first guide the addict through the first five steps. This form of therapy also encourages regular meeting attendance, journaling, and practicing group principles in all areas of life.
Additionally, twelve-step programs use more traditional therapeutic methods like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which helps people challenge negative thought patterns, identify addiction urges and their causes, and set boundaries to avoid harmful influences.
A form of motivational therapy officially called Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is also used to help those in recovery determine exactly why they want to achieve sobriety. By posing that question, the addict becomes empowered by uncovering their “internal motivations” or personal reasons for wanting to quit alcohol. Therapists and trained mentors then guide them through the next six phases of change.
4. Structured Support Systems Have High Rates of Sobriety
Structured support systems contribute to high rates of success in sobriety. After completing alcohol rehabilitation treatment, transitional living is strongly encouraged. Through this system, relapse is preventable. Sobriety is threatened when a recovering alcoholic is alone. Living independently, returning to environments with stressful triggers, negative thinking, or moments of solitude are all harmful for someone recovering from an addiction.
Other support systems also prevent relapse from occurring. Twelve-step programs, therapists, peer support, and mentorship are all a built in part of recovery residences. These homes have real life environments, which varies greatly from in-patient programs.
Recovery homes (like a sober living facility) are regular houses, which enforce rules and guidelines for clean and sober living. These homes do allow residents to attend work and school. They provide a new support system with fellow recovering addicts, mental health support, and most importantly a home completely free from alcohol and drugs.
5. Trusted Support Systems Will Help You Continuously
Trusted support systems like Alcoholics Anonymous work specifically to help addicts heal and prepare for any future obstacles. Through sponsorship programs, they provide round the clock support as a relapse preventative measure. Finding alternate (substance free) activities like creative hobbies, eco-therapy, physical fitness, or other outlets is helpful for recovery. Combating an active addiction needs a plan. And groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, peers, and therapists will make sure you have a plan and that you stick to it.
Living A Sober Life
Despite the immense challenges of trying to live a sober life after working through an addiction, sobriety is essential for a healthy life. With a viable support system, addicts can learn valuable skills, healthy coping mechanisms, and find peace.
A supportive community results in high success rates for sobriety. Recovering addicts who attend twelve-step meetings, choose sober living houses, and actively participate in therapy have higher rates of abstinence. Taking advantage of other recommended activities, like friendships within sober living homes or finding a wellness activity, contribute to high rates of sobriety as well.
An active addiction isolates people from family and friends. However, when recovery starts the recovery process does not have to be endured alone. There are many rooting for your success. Statistics show that after primary treatment most people are unable to stay sober. Relapse is common. However, seeking out the support from twelve-step programs, peers, and mental health practitioners will help you cherish your success, while moving forward productively. Taking one step at a time is the pathway towards lasting sobriety.
Through support and sober living, recovering alcoholics become empowered on their journey towards substance free living. While sobriety has numerous challenges due to addiction cravings, supportive figures and groups can help exchange drinking for alternative activities. Whether it is meditation, mindfulness engagement, journaling, or therapy, support systems offer an open ear and a plan to help any person beat their addiction for good.