Nearly 17 million Americans suffer from some form of alcohol abuse. There are many roads that lead to alcohol abuse. Some alcoholics drink to cope with financial stresses, others in response to jarring changes in their lives. At some point in their lives, though, many of these people will have to confront the difficult road to recovery. If you’re thinking about recovery from alcoholism for yourself or you’d like to know how you can help a friend, here is a roadmap of the way forward from alcohol abuse.
Admitting There’s a Problem
It’s often said that the first step to healing is admitting that you have a problem. For anyone struggling with alcohol abuse, this is the first leg on the road to recovery. For many there is a single catalyzing event that brings about a serious moment of reflection. This catalyzing event can be an uncharacteristic outburst among friends, an intervention, or a DUI, even a weird DUI can be a serious wake-up call for someone struggling. It sounds silly from the outside, but when you’re arrested for mowing the lawn under the influence of alcohol, it’s time to get help.
Getting Support From Friends and Family
Friends and family make up the most immediate support network for many alcoholics. Those fortunate enough to have people close to them who care deeply about their welfare can often find a rich support network nearby. Friends and family can provide moderate forms of support like a kind ear or a shoulder to cry on. They can also go above and beyond the call of duty by lending their time to help an alcoholic stick to his or her promise to quit. This support can involve things like clearing out a friend’s liquor cabinet, being on call in case a craving hits, or accompanying their friend to AA meetings.
Checking Into Rehab
Rehab facilities have a bad reputation. There’s a stigma that folks who check into rehab are somehow weak or unable to handle themselves. However, the fact of the matter is that alcoholism is too big a beast for any one person to tackle on their own. The support of friends and family is immensely helpful, but there’s only so much that the average person can offer. There’s no shame in getting help from a resource that’s perfectly equipped to handle alcohol abuse.
Rehab facilities can offer specialized services in response to alcoholism. Trained therapists will help you come to terms with addiction and assist you in developing strategies for coping with cravings. Finally, the calming environment is perfectly crafted to help you prepare for your return to the outside world.
Living With Addiction
Ultimately there is no cure for addiction. It takes a brave person to go forward and live with a history of alcohol abuse, but with an understanding group of friends and powerful array of coping strategies, recovery is sustainable. If you or a friend is struggling with alcohol abuse, know that anyone can have a bright future by coming to terms with their addiction and seeking out the appropriate support.