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Do You Know What Alcoholism Is? Let’s Go through the Basics

ByDave Stopher

Jun 16, 2022

Alcohol is the most widely used mind-altering substance due to its ready availability and popularity. However, the habit-forming nature of alcohol makes it as dangerous, or even worse, as other illicit substances like heroin.

If you’re struggling with a drinking problem, find comfort knowing that you aren’t destined to lead a life addicted to alcohol. You can fully recover with professional alcoholism treatment, no matter the severity of your drinking problem.

What Is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, or alcohol addiction, is a chronic brain disease that develops gradually and worsens the more you indulge in alcohol. This illness manifests as an obsession with alcohol, an inability to control your drinking habits, and an irresistible urge to continue using alcohol even though it’s already wreaking havoc in your life and the lives of your loved ones.

Alcohol addiction is regarded as a brain disease because prolonged alcohol misuse rewires the brain’s reward system, causing major chemical changes in the brain. As a result, your brain will perceive drinking as a need that you must meet, and you’ll develop repeated, strong cravings for this substance.

When you suffer from alcohol addiction, you have a dependence on alcohol. You’ll deal with withdrawal symptoms when you don’t respond to the cravings with a drink. You will also put drinking ahead of everything else in your life, not because you want to, but because of how powerful the brain changes are.

If you’re an alcoholic, it doesn’t mean you aren’t strong enough to get your drinking under control. Rather, it means you are suffering from a complex disease that you can’t heal from without professional intervention.

The Treatment Places We Call ‘Rehabs’

To recover from alcoholism, you need to enter either residential rehab treatment or Heal Treatment Centers. If you’re having difficulty figuring out which rehab centre to commit to, it’s best to reach out to your GP. They will refer you to a trustworthy facility within your area with a quality alcohol rehab program that suits your treatment needs and matches your price range.

Seeking treatment at a quality rehab centre away from your home is also a good decision. That’s because you’ll have an opportunity to begin your recovery in a new location, away from the reminders of your old drinking habits and struggles.

Defining Detox

Going through a medical alcohol detox process is the first step to healing from alcohol addiction. Quitting drinking abruptly without professional support is potentially fatal since some alcohol withdrawal symptoms are life-threatening.

You need to undergo a medication-assisted detox at a rehab facility, where you’ll receive 24-hour supervision as you safely and comfortably withdraw from this substance. Detox treatment seeks to flush the alcohol toxins from your body and restore it to a non-alcohol functioning state. This process will stabilise your body and prepare you for rehab.

Rehab and Therapy Are Considered Necessary

Rehab is the backbone of your recovery process. You’ll complete various intensive therapy programs designed to help you defeat psychological dependence and deal with every underlying factor contributing to your harmful drinking behaviours.

With the guidance of qualified and supportive therapists, you will learn healthy ways of confronting triggers without drinking, and practical relapse skills to help you remain on the path of sobriety for the long term. You’ll also attend group therapy sessions where you’ll learn more about recovery with group members pursuing a sober lifestyle just like you.

These group sessions will allow you to establish a genuine connection with others members. That way, you’ll find the much-needed emotional support as you work on your healing.

The Secret to a Sober Life After Rehab

Maintaining sobriety after rehab involves making significant life changes as you start afresh in your daily environment — mainly how you spend your time every day and with whom you spend your time.

While it may be a tough decision to make, you need to cut ties with your drinking friends as they may, to a great extent, derail your recovery progress. Form a supportive and sober network of friends and family whom you can count on to walk with you in your sobriety journey and help you move past setbacks in your recovery.

Make regular attendance to local peer support group meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous meetings part of your lifestyle. You also need to cultivate new hobbies so that you can spend your free time pursuing fun and rewarding activities that don’t involve drinking.

Life after rehab is also time for you to prioritise self-care by regularly tending to your physical, mental, and emotional needs. Adopting self-care habits will ensure that you don’t resort to alcohol to fulfil these needs.

Moreover, set realistic sobriety goals for yourself. These goals will boost your motivation since you’ll know you have something to work towards. You also need to have a relapse prevention plan, which you can develop with the help of a professional, to ensure you stay proactive in handling potential triggers.

In addition, commit to your treatment provider’s aftercare program, which may include aftercare services such as attending your facility’s alumni recovery meetings and volunteer opportunities you can participate in within your community.

Recovery Is Ongoing

It’s important to remember that finding lasting recovery from alcohol addiction is a lifelong process that requires lifetime commitment. There is no specific time as to when you should have fully recovered. All that matters is for you to focus on making positive steps a day at a time, and remaining disciplined in your recovery journey for the rest of your life.

While there may be days where you may slip, don’t let this discourage you from chasing after your sobriety goals. Let the bad days when you relapse serve as a reminder of the life you don’t want to go back to. Then, rededicate your energy and thoughts on your alcohol abstinence journey.

Alcoholism Recovery: Extended Sobriety

Alcohol addiction is a powerful but treatable illness. No alcoholic, regardless of how long they’ve been stuck in the vicious cycle of unhealthy drinking, is beyond help.

If you’ve been caught up in the downward spiral of alcoholism, quality treatment provides hope that full recovery is possible. By committing to rehabilitation treatment, an alcohol-free and healthier life will be your new reality.