Stop Drinking By Yourself, or Get Help?
Maybe Alcoholic/Alcoholism Blogs Can Help Point You In The Right Direction
By Leslie Vandever (Gratefully published as a Guest Post)
You’ve realized that you have a problem with alcohol, that yes, you’re an alcoholic. It’s taken a long time to get to this point, and it hasn’t been easy. This was the first step toward your recovery, though, and it was a doozy. But now what? How do you stop?
We’ve all heard stories about the alcoholic who quit drinking cold turkey and never swallowed another drop. But in real life, going it alone to overcome an illness as tragically serious and threatening to mind and body as alcohol abuse or addiction is nearly impossible. It’s not a matter of good or bad morals, or the strength of your willpower. Overcoming Alcohol Addiction requires a truly holistic approach, one that includes your mental and physical health, your social life, your family relationships, your work, and your overall lifestyle. And there is absolutely no shame in asking others for help.
Some people use individual psychotherapy, counseling, and support groups to reduce or stop drinking, or join well-known, established, spiritually-based groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. Others do it with a medical outpatient program initiated by their family doctor or other health care provider. Each of these options have pros and cons. Each works well for some people and not for others. Every alcoholic is a unique human being with different needs, different health issues, and a different past and background from every other alcoholic.
Flexibility is vital.
People who have lost control over their use of alcohol face a physical and mental addiction that may require ‘round-the-clock medical supervision and treatment. This is when an inpatient rehabilitation program, carried out in a facility dedicated to your recovery, may be your best option.
A good, quality treatment program not only addresses the alcohol addiction itself, it addresses the emotional issues and other life problems that contribute to it.
While finding the mental fortitude to ignore cravings after you’ve stopped drinking may seem like the biggest challenge you’ll face, that’s really only one part of it. Your body is also addicted. Missing that dose of alcohol, whether it’s once a day or once an hour, may mean a violent physical reaction in your body. If you’re in a hospital or a long-term rehabilitation facility, you’ll receive the kinds of help and care that you can’t provide for yourself alone. That care may include:
• help and support with withdrawal
• psychological therapy, counseling, or treatment for depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions
• oral or injected medication
• medical treatment for other conditions, like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or liver or heart disease
• continuing support, like aftercare programs and support groups to manage relapse and cope with lifestyle changes
Programs that offer tranquil settings with scenic views and plush amenities are great, but be aware the price tag likely will be, too. Instead, concentrate on what the program can offer in terms of proper accreditation and licensing, quality of care during treatment, and its staff of licensed, well-trained mental health professionals.
A good alcohol rehabilitation program will treat you as a whole person, not just an addict. And it will help you continue to cope and thrive long after the program itself has ended. If you’re struggling to stop drinking, don’t give up hope. Getting treatment, along with encouragement and support, can help you stay sober.
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Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience. She lives in the foothills of Northern California.
• Choosing Alcohol Treatment. (2014, June) HelpGuide.org. Retrieved on August 20, 2014 from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/choosing_alcohol_rehab_treatment.htm
• Choosing the Right Addiction Recovery Programs. (n.d.) Recovery.org. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from http://www.recovery.org/topics/choosing-the-right-addiction-recovery-programs/
• Alcoholism: Treatment and Drugs. (2012, August 9) Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on August 20, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcoholism/basics/treatment/con-20020866
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