Alcohol counseling is so important for those who wish to recover from alcoholism. The key is to understand why the alcohol addiction occurred.

People with alcohol use disorders don’t have to look far to find help. Almost every community in the United States has community initiatives, support group meetings and some form of help for alcoholics. Alcoholic support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, provide free help for people struggling to quit drinking.

Alcohol Addiction Signs and Symptoms

Three medications are currently approved in the United States to help people stop or reduce their drinking and prevent relapse. They are prescribed by a primary care physician or other health professional and may be used alone or in combination with counseling. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually start within hours after you stop drinking, peak in a day or two, and improve within five days. But in some alcoholics, withdrawal is not just unpleasant—it can be life threatening. There’s no magic bullet or single treatment that works for everyone.

What does alcoholism do to the brain?

Alcohol makes it harder for the brain areas controlling balance, memory, speech, and judgment to do their jobs, resulting in a higher likelihood of injuries and other negative outcomes. Long-term heavy drinking causes alterations in the neurons, such as reductions in their size.

The substance can be physically and psychologically addictive. If you aren’t physically addicted to alcohol, you can usually quit drinking with the help of friends or self-help tools. If you’re trying to overcome alcoholism, you’ll need counseling or rehab to help you quit. Depression and anxiety often go hand in hand with heavy drinking. Studies show that people who are alcohol dependent are two to three times as likely to suffer from major depression or anxiety over their lifetime.

Strategies You Can Use In Overcoming Alcoholism

Connect with a therapist from Talkspace anytime, anywhere. Does physical activity moderate the association between alcohol drinking and all-cause, cancer and cardiovascular diseases mortality? Prepare yourself for those times when someone is going to offer you a drink. You might also hold onto a nonalcoholic drink instead, ask a friend how to overcome alcoholism to support you in difficult situations or simply exit early if temptation gets too strong, the NIAAA suggests. You don’t have to leave the house to get support from other people who understand and respect what you’re trying to do. If you drink to ease the pain of loneliness, then make a conscious effort to connect with others.

For example, a spouse may threaten divorce, or the alcoholic may be arrested for driving under the influence. All three of these therapies have demonstrated their effectiveness.

Overcoming Alcohol Addiction

You may want to abstain for a week or a month to see how you feel physically and emotionally without alcohol in your life. Taking a break from alcohol can be a good way to start drinking less. You will also find information on spotting the signs and symptoms of substance use and hotlines for immediate assistance. Ask different programs if they offer sliding scale fees—some programs may offer lower prices or payment plans for individuals without health insurance. In addition to choosing the type of treatment that’s best for you, you’ll also have to decide if that treatment is inpatient or outpatient . Inpatient facilities tend to be more intensive and costly. Your healthcare provider can help you evaluate the pros and cons of each.

  • This may involve taking the employee home or at least taking him or her to the health unit, the EAP office, or some other safe location.
  • One advantage is that, the earlier treatment is begun, the probability of having less expensive treatment, such as outpatient care, is increased.
  • And having access to resources to support yourself can also be a game-changer.
  • Letting others know about your choice to stop drinking may help motivate you to stick with your decision.

Everyone’s needs are different, so it’s important that you find a program that feels right to you. Any alcohol addiction treatment program should be customized to your unique problems and situation. Most people with alcohol problems do not decide to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking habits overnight. In the early stages of change, denial is a huge obstacle. Even after admitting you have a drinking problem, you may make excuses and drag your feet. It’s important to acknowledge your ambivalence about stopping drinking.

Appendix – The Disease of Alcoholism

But maybe you’re not sure about quitting completely and don’t want to hold yourself to that goal. Maybe your concerns center around your reasons for drinking rather than the amount. Plenty of people use alcohol to numb emotional pain or face stressful situations more easily. It’s common to drink to lighten tension on a first date or before a difficult conversation. Be prepared to discuss any problems that alcohol may be causing. You may want to take a family member or friend along, if possible. Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12-step recovery program for people struggling with addiction.

overcome alcoholism