If You Want to Overcome Alcohol Abuse, Here Are the Best Strategies for a Successful Recovery

The National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that one in six people in the U.S. struggles with alcohol abuse. It is very likely that you are related to or know someone who is affected by alcoholism. The first step to making a change is realizing that change is needed. If you want to overcome alcohol abuse, here are the best strategies for a successful recovery.

Overcoming alcohol abuse and dependency is a step-by-step process that often includes: taking the time to understand the disease of alcoholism; planning and staging an intervention; getting the appropriate treatment, rehab and counseling; and continuing long-term recovery with after care

Understanding the Disease of Alcoholism

Understanding the disease of alcoholism is a vital first step in getting better and overcoming alcohol abuse. It is a commonly misunderstood (and accepted) concept that because alcohol is legal that it is harmless. Scientific research however shows that alcoholism is a disease and it has real outcomes. Furthermore, the Mayo Clinic defines alcoholism as a progressive and chronic disease with psychological and physical consequences.

Planning and Staging an Intervention

In some cases it is necessary to plan and stage an intervention especially when the individual does not realize the effects their alcohol abuse. Interventions may be formal or informal should not be aggressively confrontational. The most effective interventions are calm and include family members and friends expressing to the person with alcohol abuse how their drinking is affecting them.

Detox Treatment

Some people cannot stop drinking on their own no matter how hard they try, and will need to seek assistance from a professional medical detox facility. A residential medical detox will allow the individual to check into a facility and receive 24/7 care and treatment to remove the toxins from alcohol use.
The method used during the detox treatment will make a difference in how comfortable the patient is throughout the process. If the patient is not comfortable during detox, they will likely walk out before the treatment is complete.

Rehab Programs

Rehab programs are designed to help the individual develop a better understanding of alcoholism, while at the same time teaching them how they can have a happy and productive life without alcohol; as well as tips on how to avoid relapse and what to do should it occur.

The great thing about rehab is that there is a program to accommodate many different circumstances. If checking into a residential center for 6 weeks or longer does not fit, there are outpatient centers that will allow the individual to participate during the day or evening and still be able to attend to their home responsibilities.

After Care for Long-Term Recovery

The fact is that alcohol recovery is a life-long process. After detox and rehab end, most find that participating in a community-based support group can help them be successful in recovery. The good news is that there are many different support groups to choose from, including 12-Step, holistic, etc… there really is something for everyone.

The Facts About Substance Abuse Treatment

Entering a substance abuse program is the best way to overcome your drug or alcohol addiction. Your program may be versatile, understand that you may need to detoxify and then enter a rehab treatment or alternative program. Making the decision to get help is not a temporary fix for your problem; however by changing your habits and behavior and the way you think about drugs and alcohol, it can be a step toward a new life that offers freedom from drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.

You May Need Detox

Depending on how much substance abuse you have; how long you have been using and the frequency of your use, you may need to enter a detox program before you go to a rehab treatment or alternative program. Detoxification will clean your system of the toxic chemical from your drug or alcohol abuse. Most doctors agree that medical detox is the best option for many drug and alcohol addicts, with IV therapy medical detox being the most preferred.

IV therapy medical detox allows the medication to be changed as the withdrawal symptoms change for an immediate effect. The patient remains comfortable throughout the process, which allows them to stay and complete the detox. Patients who attend this type of program are more likely to be successful in sobriety than individuals that use other programs.

Residential or Non-residential

A substance abuse rehab treatment program or an alternative program can be a non-residential program and a residential program. The accord is that residential programs seem to be more effective because they offer the individual a place to get away from the stress of everyday life and to rest and learn how to have a life that does not include alcohol and drug abuse. Further, the programs that seem to obtain the most success are the ones that build self-confidence, while inspiring hope and helping the individual plan for their future.

There are non-residential substance abuse rehab treatment programs that implement medical detox in the program. Most of these require that the individual also participate in a 12 step program such as A.A., N.A. or one of the other types that traditional 12 step offers. The individual would self-report to the doctor’s office or medical facility to receive medication to help with the detox and then report to the rehab for the meeting. The benefit to this type of program is that the individual can continue their daily routines while they are getting treatment.

The Program Philosophy is Important

Issues to consider in substance abuse treatment may be linked to the type of program: residential or non-residential, but also the philosophy of the program should be thoughtfully considered. If the program teaches that you have an incurable disease and that you are going to fail in your efforts to have a life that is free from substance abuse; you might want to reconsider the program. You want a program that will give you support and encouragement in your new life and not a program that will give you a feeling of defeat, use labels and judgments.

A New Life

Regardless of the method that you choose to use, the important thing is that you are ready to get the help that you need and you are closer to beginning your new life, free from drugs and alcohol abuse and addiction.

Early Signs Of Alcohol Abuse

It is far easier to prevent drug and alcohol addiction than it is to recover from it. Parents who wish to prevent drug abuse in their children can watch for a number of telltale signs, particularly in the case of alcohol, which can be a gateway drug. It could be the difference between a life of success, or a lifetime battle with drug addiction.

The Signs

A number of studies show that alcoholics often have four personality traits in common before turning to abuse. These are:

• Anxiety, which can lead to drug use as the user tries to numb his feelings when he doesn’t know what to do about the problem. This can include stresses at home, social nervousness, anxiety about exams, and academic difficulties. A number of studies show that students who have trouble in school are far more likely to turn to drug abuse. With children all over America swimming in confusion and googling topics like “School makes me depressed” or “School makes me suicidal”, it’s no wonder that drug abuse among teens is at an all-time high.

• Impulsivity, meaning swayed or compelled by emotional or involuntary impulses. A number of studies show the relationship between impulsivity and drug addiction, as users often lack the discipline or logical thinking required to quit. Teens who are more emotion-driven may turn to drugs more easily than those who don’t.

• Negative thinking can be a factor in drug abuse and addiction, as drugs seem to present an easy way out. Drugs and alcohol provide temporary escape from depression, suicidal thoughts, and other emotional troubles.

• Sensation seeking, which can lead teens and young adults to reach for the rush of a drug or alcohol high, and to experiment with other substances like synthetic drugs or hallucinogens.

Anti-Drug Marketing

Researchers are hoping to incorporate their findings into anti-drug marketing. A number of addicts claim that the prevalent school campaigns like “Say No to Drugs” often came across as a joke. No one tried to get to the root of the problem, to find out what made kids turn to drugs in the first place.

Education And Prevention Efforts

Many drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs offer educational materials and seminars to arm teens against peer pressure and the influence of drugs and alcohol in their environment. Statistics show that kids who are fully educated in the effects of drugs and alcohol on their bodies and their lives are far less likely to experiment with them, even in spite of the above factors.

Parents can do a lot for their children by making time for them, allowing open communication and encouraging discussions about drugs. Parents who make a point of sitting down to dinner with their children, are home at night, and teach their children about drugs and alcohol are far less likely to end up with their kids on drugs. It can even be as simple as asking how school is going and helping with any of the above problems that can predispose children to drug and alcohol abuse.