Every day millions of people wake up and have a drink. For some, it’s the first time they have ever had alcohol in their lives, while for others, this is just an ordinary ritual that takes place every morning without fail.
These people are known as alcoholics because they’ve dependent on alcohol to function in their day-to-day activities. While drinking is a social activity for some, alcoholism is a disease that can ruin lives and destroy families.
In the United States alone, it’s estimated that nearly 15 million people are dependent on alcohol to get through their day, while another three million suffer from alcohol abuse. That means at least one in every 13 people is dependent on alcohol.
An alcoholic’s life is completely different from that of a casual drinker. An alcoholic turns to their first drink of the day as soon as they wake up and drinks it with haste, not because they enjoy the taste, but because they depend on it to function properly.
This addiction can result in numerous negative consequences, including violent behavior, physical dependence, and social isolation. But fortunately, it’s not a permanent disease. People can still recover from this. Here are some tips on how you can get started:
Step 1: Acknowledge that you have a problem
The first step towards recovery from alcoholism is to acknowledge that there’s a problem in the first place. This may be harder than it sounds, especially if your drinking buddies are nothing but a bunch of alcoholics who laugh at anyone who doesn’t drink as much as they do. If you’re in such a situation, it’s important to get out and move on so you can start your recovery process.
You can do this by simply quitting drinking for a month or so or attending Alcoholics Anonymous sessions. This will help you realize that you have an alcohol problem and that it’s time to do something about it.
Step 2: Make sure you understand the disease of alcoholism
Many people think that alcoholics are drunks because they drink excessively every day, but in reality, this is far from what an alcoholic is. An alcoholic is someone who has lost the ability to control their drinking and always takes it too far.
Fortunately, there are treatments available that may help you learn how to drink in moderation. But before anything else, you must understand that your compulsion to drink is just a secondary consequence of an underlying disease — one that needs treatment if you are ever to overcome the problem.
Step 3: Seek treatment from a medical professional
Alcoholism is a medical issue that can be treated by medical professions such as alcoholism counselors or addiction specialists. When you contact a medical professional, they will work with you on a treatment plan that may include medical detox programs and behavioral therapy, among other techniques.
Sometimes, alcoholism can become too much for someone to handle alone; it becomes hard for them to cut back on their drinking habits, even if they want to. When this happens, the only way to recover is through getting professional treatment.
Step 4: Get support from your family and friends
It’s important to have people around you who are close to you because they will be the ones supporting you throughout your recovery process. It can also help if they are committed to helping you make this change, for it will give them a reason to continue looking out for you even when the going gets tough.
Plus, it will be difficult to get through this process alone. That’s why you have to have support from your friends and family to have a good shot at recovery. If that’s not an option, you could always look for support groups in your area or online.
Step 5: Learn how to live a sober life
Once you’ve successfully overcome your addiction to alcohol, there’s just one more thing that needs to be done—learning how to live with it. Since alcoholism is a chronic illness, people who’ve suffered from the problem will most likely experience a relapse. It’s important to learn how to live without alcohol so that you don’t fall back into the same pattern again.
You can start this step by taking care of your body. For instance, you can go for regular exercise and check with your doctor if any supplemental therapies may help you prevent a relapse. Or you can maintain healthy relationships with people by taking on sober activities such as cooking, yoga, meditation, or reading.
Choosing to recover from alcoholism can be a difficult decision, but it’s worth all the trouble. So find people who will help keep you on track and focus on your recovery, which is why they need to understand what you’re going through and how they can help improve your situation.