If you carefully notice the behavior of an addict, you will find out they are just trying to relieve themselves from physical and mental pain, stress, anxiety, and other emotions. These coping mechanisms work but only for a short time. People are not addicted to alcohol or drugs but are addicted to the temporary relief it provides. Once they get used to numbing their feelings with unhealthy coping mechanisms, they become an addict.
Pain is not always the reason; sometimes, people start doing drugs and alcohol out of peer pressure. To deal with addiction, it is also necessary to help patients get rid of the reasons why they turned to alcohol and drugs.
Here are a few ways to deal with addiction and addicts.
People shy away from seeking professional help considering it their problem with their inability to control their will. That should not be the case. An addict should seek help based on their addiction levels. If someone finds themselves where it is difficult for them to stop drinking, they should right away need medical help.
Medications help to stop the cravings and, in a way, decrease the pleasure coming from drinking, teaching your body to disconnect drinking and the joy one gets from it. There are various in-patient treatment programs for patients with a higher level of addiction. These alcohol addiction treatment programs usually take a few months and comprise supervised medications followed by different therapy sessions during treatment and post-treatment to avoid relapses.
It aims at overcoming addiction through counseling which is often aided by medications. Health counselors identify your life events that led to heavy drinking.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is like personal therapy sessions or a small group therapy that tells its patient how to overcome their daily life situations without turning towards alcoholism.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy helps patients build confidence and get motivated to quit drinking. It is a short-term therapy that aims at the drinking patterns and their frequency.
Family counseling involves the family as well as the patient during the therapy. It aims at fixing the issues happening in the family as it could be the reason that triggers drinking.
Exercise and meditate regularly
Exercising and keeping yourself active reduce stress levels and keep your body fit. It proves to be a healthy coping mechanism as it naturally helps your body release chemicals like Serotonin and Dopamine.
One can also try adventure sports or create new hobbies like swimming, boxing, dancing, playing, etc. It can improve your mood and mental state. One should not solely rely on exercise as it is not an actual treatment for alcohol addiction, but when followed by other treatments, it can increase their effectiveness.
Apart from exercising in the gym or at home, you need to train your mind to get emotionally and mentally stronger. Meditation helps achieve better self-control, and mental clarity relaxes your mind. It helps to overcome negativity and trigger thoughts.
Ways to celebrate without alcohol
Partying and enjoyment involve socially drinking, smoking, and sometimes doing drugs. They become a problem when this becomes less frequent. If you want to help yourself or your friend overcome an addiction, you should consider other ways to celebrate without alcohol. Either party outside the bar and go for a picnic, hiking, or camping. If you still love going to bars and dancing, consider going to the sober bars that provide drinks without alcohol.
Keep yourself busy
To overcome cravings for alcohol, one has to keep themselves busy. Do things that naturally give you the feeling of satisfaction. Practice new habits like learning a new skill or language. Go out, try new things and travel to new places. It will keep your thoughts positive.
Try reading books to keep yourself engaged and journal your progress in overcoming addiction. Note down your feelings and behaviors, which will help you acknowledge them. Acknowledging your behaviors helps in avoiding people or situations that are the triggers for drinking.
These treatments and coping skills work based on levels of addiction. Choose which one best suits you. And if you have already overcome an addiction, you should help others to be sober and incorporate a healthy lifestyle. Remember, alcohol addiction destroys an individual with their families and the people around them.