Overcoming any addiction can seem like a long and bumpy road. It might feel like a herculean task to finally quit drinking and be on the straight and narrow path of life. You may think it is impossible, but it is not. With the right mind set and a good support system you can make a quick recovery from alcohol abuse.
If you are knee deep into addiction or you know someone who is, here are some ways to balance optimism and denial for a quick recovery.
1. Accepting you have an addiction
The first step on the road to recovery is accepting you have a problem and knowing it is okay to get help. For instance, if you want to stop drinking, you have acknowledged you have a drinking problem. No need to make excuses about it or trying to justify the reasons for your excessive drinking. One of the strategies that could help with anyone struggling with acceptance is by making a list out of many hidden signs of addiction. Such list help come to terms with the problem.
2. Weighing the costs and benefits
Draw a table of the cost and benefits of drinking, and the cost and benefits of quitting. Now compare both side by side. From this simple exercise you should already begin to see obvious reasons why it pays to quit drinking.
More often than not, excessive drinking results in negative consequences. It gets in the way of your job performance and affects your relationship with friends and family. It could even lead to you piling on huge debts, borrowing or spending your savings to satisfy your addiction.
If you quit drinking, your entire life will be renewed and overhauled. Your relationships will improve and you will be able to focus on your job. Your financial status will also improve. Alcohol doesn’t come cheap. Money spent on satisfying your addiction can be channeled for other uses.
3. Preparing for change
To be on the quick road to recovery and quit drinking, you need to set goals and prepare for change. Your goals should be clear, specific, and realistic. In setting your goals you should ask yourself the following questions:
Do I want to stop drinking totally or cut down on my drinking levels?
When do I want to stop drinking or start drinking less?
If you plan to gradually reduce your drinking levels, you should decide which days you will consume alcohol. You should try to dedicate two or three days in a week where you will not consume any alcohol.
For your goals to work, you will need to back them up with physical actions like getting rid of temptations, staying away from friends who lure you to drink and staying away from pubs and bars. You should announce your goals to friends and family. This will give room for them to provide you with the support system needed to quit drinking.
4. Seek professional help
If you are neck in deep into alcohol addiction or you have tried on your own to quit drinking without any success, then it is worthwhile seeking professional help. There are various types of treatments available for you:
Behavioral treatment: This involves changing drinking behavior through a series of counseling sessions. These sessions are carried out by qualified health professional and counselors. There are different types of behavioral treatments: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy and Family Behaviour Therapy.
Medication: The US Food and Drug administration has approved certain medications for treating alcohol addiction. These drugs are available via a doctor’s prescription.
Mutual support group: There are programs that help provide peer to peer support for those struggling with alcohol addiction. A popular one is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Smart Recovery. These programs help connect those struggling with addictions and through group sessions they are able to provide a support mechanism for one and another.
5. Don’t give up on yourself
Breaking out of any habit or addiction takes effort and lots of resilience. If you find yourself having relapses, do not despair or go into a state of depression. Seek support from your support group and look back at what triggered your relapse. Was it an external or internal stimulus? After determining the cause, take active steps to prevent the same situation from occurring again.
Studies have shown that depression, anxiety and alcoholism go hand in hand. When addressing your drinking problems it is important to also seek treatment for any underlying mental health issues.