There is no foolproof way to beat an addiction. It takes time, perseverance, dedication, and even setbacks for someone to overcome a dependence. It may feel impossible to quit. You may be scared of the withdrawal and even the feelings that may come with being sober, but you don’t have to go through it alone. If you are truly committed to stop drinking and get help, there will be plenty of people, either family members, loved ones, or professionals who can help you through the process no matter how hard it will be.
Alcohol affects the body in a number of ways including low brain function, diminished motor skills, slurred speech, and even nerve damage. Alcohol lowers your heart rate and has a depressive effect on the various systems in the body. Whatever the circumstances of your addiction, there are ways to get help.
Face the problem
The first step toward beating your addiction is to admit to yourself that you have a problem and decide to make a change. The process will only work if you are ready to commit yourself to getting clean fully. Alcohol kills approximately 240 people every single day, and while scary statistics may not be enough to cause fear, it might be enough to plant the idea that help could be a good move going forward.
Quitting an addiction is never easy. It takes a lot of courage not only to admit you may have a problem but to seek help for that issue. The process is going to be hard, and the hardest part of the road to getting clean is attempting it.
Prepare for detox/withdrawal
Whenever addicts seek help, they seem to be most afraid of the withdrawal process. It’s true that detox will not be pretty. Withdrawal symptoms can include insomnia, anxiety, tremors and shakes, muscle pain, psychosis, seizures, panic attacks, heart palpitations, hallucinations, cravings, sweating, blood pressure spikes, nausea, and headaches. Withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from several days to two weeks as your body begins to purge itself of the alcohol and try to function as it had prior to the abuse.
While it’s not unheard of for people to quit drinking cold turkey, it doesn’t work that way for everyone. Each person will detox differently, and withdrawal symptoms can vary greatly, but once your body is rid of alcohol you may lose weight, you will sleep better, your skin may improve, blood sugar levels will even out, your immune system will function at a higher level, and your liver fat will decrease.
Put sobriety first
Those looking to make a change have to realize that sobriety comes first. That means limiting contact and interaction with people who are still actively drinking (the old crowd) as well as doing your best to avoid situations where alcohol will be present.
This won’t always be able to be avoided, but when you know it can be, try to take that extra step to ensure success. Establish your rules and don’t break them, no matter how much your drinking pals might protest. “It’s only one drink” will not help you achieve your goal, so don’t listen to the devil on your shoulder.
Rehab facilities are well-equipped to aid those who wish to make a change in their lives and move past addiction. They can provide one on one therapy, safe detox, coping mechanisms, and treatment programs that help people get back on their feet and take control of their lives.
Every program will be different—no two are the same—but with the guidance of medical professionals and rehab staff, you can make strides toward a better and healthier you. Don’t talk yourself out of going into a program due to the idea of having to leave your home or loved ones. There are both inpatient and outpatient programs that can create the most effective treatment plan just for you.
After rehab, it’s highly encouraged that you attend meetings or self-help groups. Going to these meetings with like-minded people who have been in your shoes can help you as you continue through your journey of recovery.
With so many groups available, find one that best fits what you want to get out of a meeting. Do you feel stronger once you leave? Do you have a new found faith in your treatment? Are you inspired to continue living a sober life? These are just some of the things to ask yourself when trying to find a group that will aid in your recovery.
If you have any questions, please call us at Center For Healing 888–500–9279.
Erica Franco Mortimer, MA, LPC, LCADC
Founder and CEO
Center for Healing
Erica is a licensed therapist with over twenty-years experience in mental health. Erica offers practical and straight forward advice to those struggling with addiction and their families. Having deep insight and understanding of addiction, Erica is able to offer guidance to those looking to regain control of their lives.