Alcohol addiction affects millions across the United States. Unfortunately, very few of those affected by alcoholism choose to seek out treatment. The road to recovery can be grueling, but with the right support system and plan, you’ll find that recovery is possible.
Following a plan is the best way to get past your alcohol addiction. This plan can include examining the effects alcohol has on you, exploring your relationship with alcohol, discussing your addiction, and changing your environment.
1. Examine How Alcohol Affects Your Health
Evaluating your health and how it has changed since you developed your alcohol addiction can be a massive eye-opener. There are various ways in which alcohol can affect your health, from grogginess to more severe conditions like liver disease.
The following symptoms can be a sign that you’re consuming too much alcohol:
- Disrupted sleep
- Digestive issues
- Memory problems
- Increased feelings of anxiety, depression, and irritability
- Issues within your relationships
These issues can only begin to worsen if you don’t address your alcohol consumption and, as mentioned, can lead to more severe health risks.
2. Take Time to Look at Your Relationship with Alcohol
The most effective way to give something up is to think about why you’re doing it. When it comes to alcohol addiction, try to think about why you started drinking in the first place or when you think it began to get out of control.
Though you may not feel like you’re dealing with an addiction, certain indicators may prove otherwise. We’ve discussed the health effects you can look out for that may indicate an addiction, but alcohol triggers are another way to shed light on addiction.
If you notice that you drink as a result of the following situations, you may be dealing with an alcohol addiction:
- Relationship stress
- Social events (to the point of blacking out)
- Trouble at work
Being aware of your alcohol triggers can help you come up with ways to combat the urge or even just avoid the situation in general.
3. Talking About Your Alcohol Addiction
Opening up about something as personal as an addiction can be challenging. While it may be uncomfortable at first, talking about it is the best way to build up the strength to leave your addiction behind.
Start small and open up only to your closest friends and family for support. You’ll find this can be intimidating out of fear of being judged, but those closest to you will be the most supportive.
Not only will you feel heard, but opening up about your addiction will do wonders for your motivation to overcome your addiction and get back to living life on your terms. Once you feel comfortable with opening up, there are different levels of support you can explore.
4. Finding a Community or Social Group
You don’t need to stop being friends with your current social group, but finding another community that supports you and your recovery is crucial in staying on track. Once you feel like you have a handle on your situation and can be around alcohol safely, you can return to seeing your friends.
This can look like this:
- Inviting a co-worker to a restaurant or other sober living activities instead of going out for “happy hour”
- Prioritizing relationships with people who don’t make drinking a big part of their lives
- Visiting a sober bar or attending a social event that doesn’t serve alcohol
5. Know How to Turn Down a Drink
There may come times when you’re offered a drink, even if you’ve done your part in avoiding these situations. Knowing how to handle these situations is vital to preserving your progress and preventing a relapse.
In a situation where you have to turn down a drink, you don’t need to explain yourself. But, if you want to give someone more than a “no thanks,” try saying something along the lines of:
- “I’m trying to watch my health.”
- “I don’t like the way alcohol makes me feel.”
More in-depth and personal responses could look like this:
- “I feel like my drinking has been out of control lately, and I want to reevaluate that habit.”
- “I want to get better at facing my emotions without having a drink.”
- “I don’t really enjoy drinking anymore, and I don’t want to just drink for no reason.”
You shouldn’t feel pressured to drink, no matter who offers you alcohol. If you feel like your boundaries aren’t being respected, it’s better to leave the situation.
6. Change Your Environment
It can be easy to make alcohol a part of your environment when dealing with alcohol addiction. Once you begin your journey to overcoming your addiction, it’s important to change your environment to avoid a relapse and support healthy habits.
You don’t need to reinvent your life completely, but you should make changes to eliminate your triggers.
The first step should be to get rid of all the alcohol in your home. Having it on hand will make it harder to avoid when you start to get cravings, so it’s better to keep it out of reach.
If you share a space with roommates who drink, ask them to keep it out of sight and of common areas like the kitchen.
You should look for a new favorite drink you can go to when you start to get cravings. One popular replacement is sparkling water infused with chopped fruits or herbs.
Overcome Your Alcohol Addiction with Ardu Recovery Center
Taking these steps at home is a great way to begin your journey to recovery. However, if you feel like you could still use some extra help or want to ensure that you stay on track, don’t hesitate to contact us at Ardu Recovery Center.
Our Provo, Utah, facilities offer alcohol addiction treatment services guided by professionals to help you overcome your struggles in a healthy, safe, and digestible way. Call us today at 801-512-0086 or fill out our contact form for more information.