If you or a loved one struggle with alcoholism, addressing the problem can feel overwhelming and impossible. However, just like any other form of substance abuse, alcohol dependence can become dangerous and deadly, all while severely harming your quality of life. It’s important to seek help right away for any type of alcohol abuse or dependence. Fortunately, with plenty of support and the right approach, you can enjoy a healthy, normal life again without alcohol.
Know the Signs of Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism can sometimes appear less serious than other forms of addiction, especially those involving illegal or illicit drugs. Also, in some situations, an individual may be a functional or secret alcoholic who is successful at hiding their dependency from others. However, this type of alcohol abuse can be just as harmful. Some of the signs of functional alcoholism include drinking daily and consuming alcohol early in the morning in order to face the day. Changes in mood or behavior usually accompany these actions, along with changes in appearance and an increase in health issues. Drinking in larger amounts over a long period of time is often a precursor to alcohol addiction and should be addressed right away.
Seek Help From Medical Professionals
Alcoholism should be treated with care under the supervision of a medical professional. In most situations, the individual should undergo detoxification under the constant care of trained medical staff. This process can be difficult and even dangerous for some, as dehydration and severe pain can become a concern and lead to relapse or overdose. In some situations, a doctor can prescribe medications to help make the process less physically, mentally or emotionally challenging.
Join a Support Group
Once a person has finished the detox stage of recovery, they’ll be able to start functioning again in society. Many recovery centers require a short stay to undergo group and individual counseling before returning home. However, it’s important to maintain this type of support for months and even years into recovery in order to be successful. Finding a local support group for current or recovering addicts is a vital part of the process. It’s also important to find an accountability partner to help keep you honest while providing someone to confide in during tough times.
Address the Underlying Issues
In many situations, those who become reliant on alcohol have done so because of underlying issues that should be addressed with a professional. Be sure to find an office or licensed therapist who is experienced in helping recovering alcoholics. The support and guidance they can offer can help you or your loved one find healthy ways to deal with past struggles, hurts or trauma instead of turning to alcohol again in the future.
Cultivate Positive Routines and Hobbies
Alcohol addicts spend much of their free time either drinking at home or going out for a drink. This creates a pattern for social behaviors that will need to be changed during the recovery process. It’s crucial that you find new, exciting ways to spend your free time that are also positive and healthy. So join a gym, take an art class or pick up a new hobby. Try to connect with others during this phase. It’s a great way to develop new relationships with people who can help you lead a better life.
Alcohol dependence at any level should be treated promptly and with great care. Don’t wait for a more convenient time to act. Instead, make changes today and take the first important steps on the road to recovery. Get the support you need all along the way to stay on track and live a healthier, happier life.