For many people, drinking a few beers at a game or celebrating with a tall glass of champagne is routine. But for people who suffer from alcohol use disorders, it can be a slippery slope toward relapse.
If drinking leads to clinically significant distress or impairment in your social, occupational, academic, or personal life, then you might have a problem. It’s an issue that not only affects the person who’s dealing with it but also affects those closest to them.
Alcohol use disorders affect approximately 107 million people from all over the world. Statistically, mental health and genetics play an important role in whether you develop an alcohol use disorder. These are scary statistics to read, but the good news is that you are not alone.
What is the best form of treatment?
Even if you or your loved one is suffering at the hands of an alcohol use disorder, then it is still light at the end of the tunnel. There are a variety of treatment options available nowadays, ranging from minor interventions to outpatient and residential treatment.
The type of treatment you choose should be based on the individual’s specific needs. If the disorder is severe and needs immediate attention, then residential treatment might be the best option because detox treatments may be required to rid the body of alcohol safely.
The goal of detox is to treat withdrawal symptoms safely. Residential alcohol rehab is an intensive and holistic form of treatment, in which individuals stay at a rehab clinic while receiving specialised therapies that can include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), and Psychotherapy. The goal is treat the individual holistically.
How long does it take to recover from alcoholism?
The short answer to this question is anywhere from a few days to several months or even years. But the long answer is that it depends on many social, environmental, and psychological factors.
Recovery from an alcohol use disorder is not a linear process. There are many times when you can fall off the wagon and feel like you’re starting again. However, the detoxification process usually lasts 2 to 7 days. But cravings for alcohol can last several; weeks even after the detox period. Your recovery process also depends on how well your emotional support system (friends, family, support groups) is built.
Your psychological well-being is also a huge factor in the recovery process. The better you handle emotional stressors, the easier the process of recovery will be.
How does one maintain recovery? Provide tips on how individuals can stay sober
An even more difficult task than attaining sobriety will be maintaining that sobriety. It’s very easy to fall off the wagon if you aren’t sufficiently prepared. So here are two tips on how you can stay sober:
- Prepare yourself for post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS), which can last for months or even years after detoxification. Maintaining healthy relationships, keeping a consistent sleeping schedule, allocating time for self-care, identifying and dealing with emotional triggers in a healthy manner, and keeping a consistent sleeping schedule are just a few ways to cope with PAWS.
- Reward yourself for reaching recovery milestones. Such as celebrating in a social gathering without drinking, facing tragedies like death without drinking, having a consistent sleep schedule and self-care routine, etc.
Things to avoid in the early stages of recovery
The early stages of recovery tend to be the most crucial and fragile. It’s the start of a long and emotionally exhausting journey. To make that journey a little easier to bear, you need to keep in mind the following things:
- You must also determine whether you are reverting to addictive thinking patterns, self-destructive behaviour, or irrational thinking, which can lead to dangerous situations where alcohol appears to be an escape and avoid those situations.
- You should recognize environmental triggers, including certain people, situations, places, and events, as well as emotional triggers that provoke the urge to relapse, and do the best you can to avoid those triggers.
- Another strategy is to develop a support structure through programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. You can attend a variety of meetings for various groups and choose the one that’s best for you.
What to do in the event of a relapse
In the event of a relapse, the most important thing to remember is to reach out for help. Many treatment centres offer an aftercare programme designed to support you post-rehab, but most importantly, don’t view it as a complete failure.
Don’t give up hope and give yourself some grace. Reflect on the relapse but don’t dwell on it. Think of it as a bump on the road towards possible recovery.
Alcohol use disorder affects nearly 107 million people around the world. It affects your daily life as well as the lives of those around you.
#1 The treatment of an AUD depends on your specific needs. However, there are many treatments available ranging from various psychological therapies to many in and outpatient clinics specialising in the alcohol rehabilitation process
#2 Recovering from an AUD can take months to years depending on the severity level and various other psychological and social aspects.
#3 Preparing for post-acute withdrawal symptoms and celebrating milestones can be very beneficial in maintaining sobriety.
#4 Avoiding any situations, as well as places and people that might trigger you emotionally and push you back toward a relapse is very crucial to recovery.
#5 The alcohol rehabilitation process is not linear which means the chances of relapses are high. During a relapse, it’s important to remember to ask for help, whether that be through social support or organisations.
Alcohol addiction recovery is not a quick fix. It’s a walk through a long and dark tunnel where you can’t always see the light. But if you keep walking, then you will find yourself in a better place.