Addiction Recovery: Overcoming Your Alcohol or Drug Problem

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Vivitrol (naltrexone), Campral (acamprosate), and Antabuse (disulfiram) have been FDA-approved to treat alcohol use disorder. If you have been drinking heavily and chronically, it is also a good idea to have your detox medically supervised to minimize your risk of potentially dangerous withdrawal complications. Alcohol use disorder frequently occurs alongside other mental health conditions.

stages of alcoholic recovery

Various types of therapy may be utilized, including individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. Individual therapy provides a safe and confidential space for individuals to explore their thoughts and emotions related to alcohol addiction. It allows them to identify triggers, develop coping skills, and work through any underlying issues contributing to their addiction. Once an individual has successfully completed the detoxification stage, the next crucial step in the journey of alcohol recovery is rehabilitation. This stage focuses on addressing the underlying causes of alcohol addiction and equipping individuals with the necessary tools and strategies to maintain sobriety in the long term.

Accepting the Need for Change

Relationships with family and friends begin to deteriorate as the person’s focus shifts more toward drinking. The person then deals with the stress of these alcohol-induced problems by drinking more. Alcohol has a remarkable ability to allow drinkers to forget or stop caring about their issues, which is why it’s so tempting to escalate when someone is feeling stressed. Alcohol has been found to be directly causally related to some diseases and conditions, such as mouth cancer in a person with a history of heavy chronic drinking. In the unfortunate event that a chronic drinker develops a serious health condition or disease, the treating physician can explain whether alcohol was a direct cause or a component cause. The attending physician can also explain how continued drinking will impact the specific condition(s) present.

stages of alcoholic recovery

It stands to reason that alcohol recovery is also a gradual process with no set timeline. Not only can the person who has an AUD be greatly impacted during this stage, but those around them start to be impacted as well. It’s not uncommon for familial relationships and relationships with friends to be damaged by the effects of alcohol. These relationship impacts, combined with the side effects of alcohol, can also lead to the further development of mental health problems such as depression. The longer you drank uncontrollably, the more damage alcohol did to vital systems and organs. However, you can reverse some of the damage through a combination of healthy habits.

What are The 6 Stages of Alcohol Recovery

In fact, jumping into recovery without understanding what it entails can make it harder than it needs to be. For example, the detoxification process can cause severe physical effects if not approached in the right way. It’s important for people to have an idea of what they’ll be experiencing during treatment. Remember that alcohol use disorder is a medical condition, with a medical solution. Seeking online alcohol treatment is an act of self-care, and something to be proud of.

  • A trained substance abuse counselor can help put one’s mind at ease, teaching them some important coping skills.
  • This isn’t surprising since addictive behavior can be harmful, but people who suffer don’t intend to be self-destructive.
  • Saying a mantra, substituting thoughts of recovery goals, praying, reading something recovery-related, reaching out to someone supportive—all are useful tactics.
  • It’s a disease that typically develops gradually over time as a person drinks more and more regularly, which causes chemical changes to occur in the brain.
  • Cravings diminish and disappear in time unless attention is focused on them.

If you think you may have a drinking problem, you’re definitely not alone. In 2021, researchers estimated nearly 30 million people ages 12 years and older in the United States had alcohol use disorder (AUD). Recovery from alcohol addiction generally follows the stages of abstinence, withdrawal, repair, and growth.

What Is Alcoholism?

Our staff is full of compassionate and well-trained professionals who are connected to the community around us. We always have openings and can take new admissions 24/7, with most patients getting through the process in about an hour. For those who need help accessing our facility, we offer rides up to 3 hours away, both to the facility and back home after if you need it.

The important feature is that the interest avert boredom and provide rewards that outweigh the desire to return to substance use. While participating in the 12 steps of recovery can be beneficial for many people, consider the advantages and disadvantages of these programs before you decide if this approach is right for you. Though the original Twelve Steps of AA have been adapted over time, the premise of each step remains the same for all recovery programs that use a 12-step model.

Many types of recovery support are available, and many people make use of more than one type at any time and may shift from one type of support to another as recovery proceeds and needs evolve. Cravings are the intense desire for alcohol or drugs given formidable force by neural circuitry honed over time into single-minded pursuit of the outsize neurochemical reward such substances deliver. Cravings vary in duration and intensity, and they are typically triggered by people, places, paraphernalia, and passing thoughts in some way related to previous drug use. But cravings don’t last forever, and they tend to lessen in intensity over time.

The model of change developed by psychologists James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente breaks it down into six stages. According to Jellinek, up until this point, the individual has had agency over their choice to pick up the bottle or glass. Once a person reaches the chronic stage, they have little to no ability to limit their consumption. The individual is under a compulsion to drink, and will avoid any activities that stop them from doing so.

While the most complete and accurate answers will ultimately come with time and experience, there are common patterns in the first year of sobriety or moderation that can help set expectations. You’ll find that what you’re experiencing is normal, and most likely, an indicator of progress towards treating alcohol dependency (even if it doesn’t feel that way yet). Relapse is a common feature of substance use disorders, and it is more the rule than the exception.

They say that if you were once addicted to alcohol, you could become addicted to drinking again. So, even if you have been sober for many years, you must still maintain a level of vigilance. You may consider yourself cured as long as you understand that the risk of your addiction returning is always there.

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