Alcoholism is one of the most undiagnosed addictions out there because most people who can be considered alcoholics wouldn’t think they are. According to the government, heavy drinking in men happens when they regularly consume more than four drinks per day or more than fourteen drinks per week. For women, this is three drinks per day or more than seven per week.
Alcoholism, or alcohol addiction, is when you are a heavy drinker dependent on alcohol and turn to it to help ease your stresses, worries, or concerns. Heavy drinkers are also typically physically addicted to alcohol, and withdrawal can be painful enough to turn people back to drinking.
What Causes Alcoholism?
Unlike other substances, such as heroin, alcohol is not immediately addictive. Most people go through their lives with a healthy, balanced approach to drinking alcohol. So what tips a person over into becoming an alcoholic? Dependence. Being dependent on it as a means to self-soothe, to be more sociable, or even to help you sleep all can result in alcohol use, becoming abuse.
On average, around three million deaths yearly are caused by the harmful use of alcohol, which amounts to 5.3% of deaths. This statistic may also be underrepresented, depending on the healthcare and reporting in each country.
How to Recover From an Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction can be very difficult to overcome since alcohol itself is so pervasive throughout society. You cannot ask everyone you come across not to drink in front of you, nor can you avoid seeing it, smelling it, and having access to it. That’s why it takes a substantial amount of self-control.
For many recovering alcoholics, going cold turkey and alcohol-free is the way to go. After addressing the underlying reason you turned to alcohol in the first place, you may find that you can drink in moderation and rarely without triggering your addiction. It will be up to you, but if you are worried about your control, know that abstaining entirely is the go-to approach for a reason. As a bonus, it’s a great way to budget.
Acknowledging You Have a Problem
Some only acknowledge that they have a problem when they get hospitalized and need their stomach pumped. Others have an epiphany, where perhaps they finally notice their addiction’s social and personal cost. In the worst-case scenario, you realize you have a problem only after your drinking has physically harmed or even killed another person.
Regardless of why or when, when you acknowledge you have a problem, it is on you to start taking steps toward beating it.
Inpatient Recovery Rehabilitation
In extreme instances where you are heavily dependent on alcohol and not only need help to build the tools to abstain in the future but also need medical supervision to help you through withdrawals, you’ll want to go to an inpatient facility. Here you will live, eat, and attend various therapy programs throughout the day. The goal is to help you understand why you got to where you are and to help you physically recover.
Once you are well enough and have been through the inpatient recovery program, you’ll graduate to outpatient. Initially, this will be just as intensive, but as time goes on, you’ll swap out therapy and group sessions for long-lasting solutions. The solutions in question may come from volunteering, joining your local church, or even finding a support group where you can go.
Many treatment programs don’t require you to be a patient at all. 12-step recovery programs, courses, and therapy exist at all times. You can also go to them as often as you need. Alcohol abuse treatment in Canada typically consists of a multi-pronged approach. This means you’ll get mental health counseling, spiritual guidance, group therapy, psychotherapy, and skills training.
The goal is not just to help you understand your addiction and build skills to say no to that next drink but also to build strong connections to your community and loved ones.
Feeling connected and having a purpose you are proud of go a long way toward establishing a baseline you want to protect. If you found yourself not liking where your life was going and turned to a substance to alleviate that stress, you need to make significant changes to continue a sober path.
In some cases, a new place to live, a new job, and a fresh start are what’s in order. In other cases, you’ll need to volunteer, join clubs, and make more time for what matters to you.