Dealing with alcohol addiction may not be easy, but it’s not difficult either. It’s said, there’s no one to stop alcohol-dependent individuals from quitting alcohol except themselves. And if you or your loved one is an alcohol addict, you may want to try your level best to help them stop the addiction. Here are methods worth exploring to help alcoholics stop drinking.
Seeking professional help involves working with professionals to help you explore and change what caused the alcohol addiction. Doing so would enable you to reflect on your life and understand yourself better. Through self-reflection, you can learn reasons or circumstances that made you dependent on alcohol and change them for the better. Behavioral therapists, counselors, and psychotherapists are all involved in counseling.
During counseling, the professionals help you develop the necessary skills to reduce or stop drinking, form attainable goals, build a strong support system, and cope with alcohol triggers resulting in alcohol relapse. There are different forms of counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, brief interventions, motivational enhancement therapy, and marital/family counseling. Irrespective of the counseling type, choosing a method that focuses on changing drinking habits and integrating motivational support and empathy while avoiding confrontation is key to ensuring success.
Change Your Friends
“You are an average of the people you hang out most with” agrees with the truth that spending time with alcoholics can easily render you one too. So, if your friends are the drinking type, you may need to stay away from them for some time as you handle your addiction first. Spending time with your drink-mates can easily tempt you into drinking, leading to a relapse. In this case, you should focus more on yourself, recovery, finances, and health rather than people whose presence can lure you into alcohol temptations.
Look for Treatment
If your addiction is extreme such that counseling doesn’t seem to help, you may want to try medications. There are several drugs to help alcoholics stop drinking, and going to the hospital is the first step in getting the right guidance. When you visit the hospital, your doctor may decide whether you’ll receive in-patient or out-patient services.
With out-patient, you receive treatment support while staying at home, while in-patient involves receiving treatment support while staying at the hospital. The stay can last from 1 month up to a year. Alcoholics may receive drugs to cope with withdrawal symptoms and heavy drinking—for example, Disulfiram, Naltrexone, and Acamprosate.
Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle
By adopting a healthier lifestyle, you get rid of everything that can harm you, including alcohol. Doing so would require you to follow several measures to not relapse. They include:
Eat Healthy Foods and Drink Plenty of Water
Eating a well-balanced diet keeps you healthy and nourished and helps reduce stress levels, which may contribute to your addiction. Drinking plenty of water detoxifies your body and reduces cravings for alcohol.
Engaging in physical exercises is also crucial in improving your mood (through increased endorphin production) and reducing alcohol relapse risks. Practicing yoga and meditation are also part of living healthily and can help decrease stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and boost the immune system.
Get Enough Sleep Every Night
Not getting enough sleep can increase stress levels, irritability, and poor decision-making and make you more susceptible to succumbing to alcohol temptations. Aim to get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
Handle Stress Differently
One of the main reasons people drink is to manage stress. When you’re an alcoholic, any stress can easily lead to a relapse. To avoid this, you need to find different ways to handle stressful situations. This may require some practice, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. Some healthy methods of dealing with stress are exercise, yoga, and meditation. You can also talk to someone about your problems or listen to calming music.
A healthier lifestyle will benefit your physical health and your mental and emotional health, making it easier for you to resist any temptation to drink alcohol.
Seek Alcohol Support Group
Once you do away with your old friends, loneliness may set in. And one way to deal with loneliness is to surround yourself with people with whom you share the same experience and who can motivate you on your new journey. Alcohol support groups are an excellent way of meeting sober individuals who may assist you in coping with sobriety challenges. There are both in-person and online groups, so you can easily find one that suits your needs. In-person groups usually meet weekly or monthly, while online groups may have more flexible meeting times. Joining an alcohol support group provides you with a sense of community and connection, which can help maintain sobriety. Moreover, hanging out with sober people can give you the motivation that it’s possible to beat alcohol addiction. Plus, you can easily get friends from the support groups who may act as your accountability partners and provide you with a shoulder to lean on should a relapse occur.
Find New Hobbies
What do you usually enjoy doing when free? Do your hobbies put you at risk of alcohol abuse? Depending on what you love doing in your free time, you can change or embrace it to deal with alcohol addiction effectively. If you love partying and clubbing, going less or not to clubs can be an excellent way to avoid alcohol consumption. Or, if you are the type who drinks alcohol out of boredom, then finding new and involving hobbies can help. Cycling, skating, and swimming is excellent hobbies that you can engage in and even monetize on them if you wish. Doing volunteer work to support others battling alcohol addiction lets you assist others while assisting yourself at the same time.
Dealing with alcohol addiction is a process with ups and downs, and coming out of it successfully involves patience, incorporating different strategies, and picking yourself up anytime you fall. So, remember to be kind to yourself, seek medications and therapy, and form new hobbies and relationships that can cheer you in your recovery.
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