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.
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 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.