Becoming addicted to alcohol is not something anyone ever means to do.
It is a highly addictive substance than anyone can fall victim to under the right circumstances. It is also a hard habit to kick once it starts. Alcoholism is considered a disease of the brain, because it changes the way that your brain functions. The fact that it physically alters the chemistry of your mind means that quitting on your own can be incredibly challenging.
Fortunately, there are different options available for treating alcohol addiction issue and getting back to a sober lifestyle. It might feel like you will never be able to shake your addiction, but with the right help you certainly can.
Options for treatment
Dealing with alcoholism generally takes a mixture of medicinal and mental assistance. This is because it affects both your mind and body. You become dependent on it in a way that can cause both mental and physical side effects when you choose to stop. Let’s take a look at a list of treatment options that are available before covering them in greater depth:
- Detoxing at a hospital or treatment center
- Medications to make quitting easier
- Therapy with an addiction counselor
- Group therapy with other recovering addicts
Not every person takes advantage of all four options, but it is possible to utilize them all along your road to recovery. They offer different benefits and what you choose to do will depend on your personal situation and preferences.
Detoxing can be a very difficult process. This is because you’re both mentally and physically addicted to alcohol. Choosing to quit can put a serious strain on you. You can experience symptoms such as:
Each person may experience a different set of symptoms, but every individual can benefit from detoxing with the help of a hospital or treatment center. These places are equipped to provide medical care that makes this process easier and safer. The symptoms of withdrawal can be dangerous and going through them on your own at home could lead to the necessity for medical assistance. This is especially true if you are experiencing seizures.
Medicinal help is also available to make quitting drinking a little easier. These work in different ways and help to deal with the craving to drink. Medicines such as Disulfiram, Acamprosate, and Naltrexone can offer these benefits:
- Causes nausea or vomiting when alcohol is consumed
- Helps reduce cravings
- Stops the high that drinking provides
Knowing that you will get sick if you drink or that it won’t have the desired effect on you can make it easier to turn down alcohol. This can come in handy in social situations where they may be alcohol present, such as at weddings or nights out with your friends. While it is sometimes best to avoid those situations when recovering, it’s not always possible and these medications can help.
The mental and emotional effects of drinking can wreak havoc on your life. It’s also likely that you started drinking due to struggles in your life that you weren’t sure how to cope with. This is why therapy can be such a great help to people who are on the road to recovery. Therapists can help you to:
- Find healthy ways to cope with depression and anxiety
- Work towards making positive changes in your life that won’t lead to drinking
- Set goals for yourself to keep you motivated
- Strength relationships with your loved ones
With the help of a therapist you can reshape your entire life and outlook. Becoming sober often means having to approach life in a lot of different ways, which can be difficult to figure out on your own. Therapy can make this transition less stressful and give you useful advice and techniques to cope.
Group therapy isn’t for everyone, but it can offer a lot of benefits. Some people choose not to take part in it, because being around other recovering alcoholics might be triggering for them. However, others find that it’s comforting and helpful to talk to other people who understand what they are going through.
Often times you will be paired with a sponsor when you join groups like this. A sponsor is someone who is farther along in their recovery that you can reach out to when you’re struggling with cravings. They often have personal experience and wisdom that someone who hasn’t dealt with alcoholism wouldn’t be able to give you.
No matter what process you choose, all you have to do to get help is ask for it. Reaching out to a local treatment center or discussing your options with your primary physician is a good place to start. They can both help connect you to the necessary resources to begin your journey through recovery.