- Alcohol is often a positive thing in life, but it can become an addiction if consumed excessively.
- According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 15 million adults in the US had an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in 2018.
- Research published in JAMA Psychiatry found that heavy drinking increases one’s risk of developing psychiatric disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder and cardiovascular disease due to higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Staying away from alcoholic beverages and seeking professional help is essential when battling alcohol addiction.
- Developing healthier habits such as healthy eating, exercising, getting enough sleep, and spending time with supportive people can help individuals stay sober long-term and take back control of their lives.
Alcohol is often a positive thing in life. It can celebrate special events, mark milestones, and enable social bonding. Having a few drinks can help reduce anxiety and stress, bring people together in laughter and conversation, and add flavor to enjoy moments with friends and family.
However, when alcohol is consumed in excess or used as an emotional coping mechanism, it can lead to alcohol addiction. Studies conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism have found that 14.1 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in 2019. Additionally, approximately 88,000 people died from alcohol-related causes annually. This is more than twice the number of deaths caused by opioid overdoses.
Furthermore, according to research published in JAMA Psychiatry, drinking heavily increases one’s risk of developing psychiatric disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder. Heavy drinkers are also at greater risk of cardiovascular disease than non-drinkers or moderate drinkers due to higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
Alcohol can take over your life if you are not careful. It can lead to physical, mental, and emotional health problems. Fortunately, you can regain control of your life through a recovery process. Here are a few steps to take when on a journey to battle alcohol addiction.
Staying Away from the Source
Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease that develops when alcohol consumption leads to changes in the brain, impacting an individual’s ability to control their drinking habits. Individuals may become physically and psychologically dependent on alcohol and have difficulty controlling how much they drink. People can develop an alcohol addiction due to genetic factors, but environmental influences such as peer pressure, stress, or trauma can also play a role in developing the disorder.
Staying away from alcoholic beverages is one of the most effective ways to start recovery. This means abstaining from all types of alcohol, whether beer, wine, spirits, or other hard liquor. Abstinence helps individuals break the cycle of addiction by avoiding potential triggers that lead to cravings and relapse. It also gives them time away from temptations and opportunities to learn new coping skills without having alcohol present as a crutch or distraction. Additionally, abstinence allows individuals to restore their physical health; heavy drinkers are more likely than non-drinkers to experience problems with their liver, heart, and other vital organs due to long-term exposure to toxins in alcoholic beverages.
Getting the Necessary Support
Addiction is a complex condition that requires professional help to overcome. Seeking treatment from qualified professionals can ensure individuals receive the care and support they need to stay sober long-term. Here are a few ways to access help for your problem:
Many organizations, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), offer free services and fellowship to other recovering addicts. These groups can provide strength, advice, and encouragement as you battle alcohol addiction.
Talk to a therapist or counselor about managing cravings and avoiding relapse triggers. Professional counselors can provide coping strategies and techniques to help you manage negative thoughts or emotions that could lead to drinking again. They can also give insight into underlying issues in your life that may have contributed to your addiction in the first place.
Inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities can provide intensive treatment for individuals struggling with alcohol addiction. These centers offer alcohol detox programs, ensuring a safe and supervised withdrawal. They also provide counseling sessions, lifestyle changes, spiritual guidance, and other services to help individuals reach sobriety and stay sober in the long term.
Unfortunately, alcohol addiction might make you experience physical health issues due to excessive drinking. Treatment centers can address these issues by providing medical attention and care, such as detoxification and medications to reduce cravings.
Building Healthy Habits
Aftercare services are essential for the recovery process. These can include joining 12-step programs, attending therapy sessions, developing healthy lifestyle habits such as exercising and finding new activities to replace drinking. Developing more beneficial coping strategies can also help individuals stay on track with their recovery goals by providing them with productive ways to manage cravings and stress.
The primary goal of healthy habits is to avoid relapse and to stay sober. This requires commitment, dedication, and hard work. However, it is possible to take back control of your life by replacing old habits with healthy ones, such as eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and spending time with family and friends who support your recovery journey.
In conclusion, alcohol addiction can be challenging to break, but it is possible to regain control of your life through an effective recovery process. Professional help and healthy habits are essential components for successful sobriety that can lead to a healthier life in the long term. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, do not hesitate to reach out for help!