4 Best Ways To Overcome Alcohol Addiction
Hailed as a socially acceptable drink for millennia, alcohol consumption is the norm in many countries. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s a great getaway for when you need to flush away the stress of a hectic week with your drinking buddies or at home by yourself, enjoying a flavorful glass of wine. However, if someone finds themselves heavily dependent on alcohol to the point that they can’t stave off the urge to drink, this is a serious cause for concern.
It is not the occasional relaxant anymore but a full-blown case of addiction and, as labeled by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a disability that hinders one’s cognitive, physical, and sensory functions.
According to a study conducted by Imperial College London, alcohol addiction warrants greater risk than heroin and crack. Tobacco and cocaine are no match either– excessive drinking spells out three times as much trouble with debilitating effects on the heart, liver, and brain.
Research also links it to numerous cancers and psychological disorders, and, hardly surprising, severe alcohol dependence is a leading cause of preventable death in the US. It is important to get rid of alcohol to ensure you remain fit and healthy, both mentally and physically.
If you or someone you know exhibits symptoms of alcohol addiction, locate a treatment center to support you in embracing sobriety holistically. This article also explores helpful tips to overcome alcohol addiction and complement your recovery process.
Creating self-awareness and educating yourself is the first step of the journey ahead. For this, you can contact your local drug addiction center and obtain tips and pamphlets or attend seminars or interventions organized by them. By going over the long-term detrimental effects of alcoholism, one can motivate themselves to stop drinking.
Moreover, it is important to note that excessive or binge drinking could be signifying underlying mental health issues such as relationship problems, depression, anxiety, or financial stress. At such tempting times, developing positive habits is a healthier way to deal with them instead of turning to drowning away your sorrows in alcohol. Consult a psychologist or rely on trustworthy loved ones to support you during this strenuous time.
Don’t let the temporary gratification of alcohol fool you. It may muddle your thoughts and prevent you from thinking about your worries, but it is not the solution to them. The more time you waste bogged down under the haze of intoxication, the bigger problems you create for your future self by ignoring them now.
It’s not easy to identify that you have a drinking problem unless you sit down, monitor, and track your daily consumption. “Just a glass won’t do any real damage,” you mutter nonchalantly as you take out another beer from the fridge, without paying heed that it’s your 5th or 6th of the day. Therefore, tracking your alcohol intake, either in a journal or via a mobile application, helps you see the bigger picture and cut down on poor drinking habits.
Setting up SMART goals should ideally be the next logical step. These should be:
- Specific: Don’t make vague statements like “I need to stop drinking”; instead, create specific guidelines like “I will not keep alcoholic beverages at home.”
- Measurable: Break your goals down into numbers, for example, “I will reduce my alcohol to 1 glass per day for a month,” etc., and then quit it entirely.
- Achievable: Targets that start small and realistic are more likely to be achievable. If you put too much, too fast on your plate, even a slight slip can put you off from your goals in the long run.
- Relevant: Each goal must be relevant to you, building a better control over your drinking habits and leading to a total curb on alcohol consumption.
- Time-Bound: Restrict yourself to time limits. “I won’t drink after 8 pm,” “I will stay sober every morning,” or stop drinking after three months is a targeted, precise, and time-bound goal.
To Each Their Own
Giving up on alcohol addiction is undoubtedly hard; otherwise, you wouldn’t have over 76 million people affected by alcohol abuse disorders. The good news is that several resources and organizations are available to help them, provided they make an effort.
If you are a recovering alcoholic, remember that many people are in the same boat as you, each with their ways of coping with the ordeal. What method suits them might not suit you, so don’t get discouraged if a particular tip doesn’t work out for you. Persistence and consistency are key to overcoming addiction.
Withdrawal symptoms are brutal, and one will start noticing them as soon as within a day of staying sober. Mild symptoms range from fidgeting hands, intense cravings, and hyperactivity, usually curbing through fidget spinners or distractions like a good workout or hobby.
Find out what works out for you and adhere to it. Other harsher symptoms like fatigue or congestion require prompt medical care. Some people also find challenges like “Sober October” or “Dry January” an interesting encouragement and pledge themselves to follow them every year. If you’re a competitive person, perhaps this might be the best route for you to take.
Refusing a drink with friends and family can get awkward and open a barrel of questions to be hurled at you. It is even more difficult to admit to them that you are suffering from alcohol addiction. Don’t be ashamed. Everyone has their shortcomings, and if alcohol dependency is yours, be proud that you’re making the effort to overcome it.
Additionally, tell your support circle about it and ask them to discourage you from drinking whenever they see you taking alcohol.
Ways to Overcome Alcohol Addiction: Say Cheers to a Better Lifestyle
With this article, we hope you have taken away some good tips to overcome an alcohol addiction, gradually curbing it together, or help a loved one recover from it. Knowing alcoholism and its damaging effects on one’s mental and physical wellness is the foundation while monitoring daily consumption, productive distractions, and a warm acceptance from your support circle form the building blocks. We wish you the best in this endeavor.