Updated: Oct 10
Friends and family may have called you out for your alcoholism, probably because they’ve seen you get wasted too many times. Depending on how far gone you are with your drinking habit, you may have already lost control of your life and forgotten some… if not, all of your responsibilities. But what if you were given the chance to hit the ‘pause’ button?
Alcohol rehabilitation gives you that opportunity. It lets you put your life on hold so you can focus on getting better. Years of alcohol abuse isn’t going to disappear overnight, but rehab will help you through the process of recovering from alcohol addiction. By having access to therapies, support groups, and professional help, you can beat alcohol addiction one step at a time.
Below are the four basic steps to beating alcohol addiction...
Step 1: Committing to your recovery
Recovery from alcohol addiction is a lifelong process, and if you’re serious about it, you will want to commit to it. Most treatment centers offer 12-step alcohol rehab programs which advocate for total sobriety. You would have to be 100% committed to quitting alcohol for these programs to work. Otherwise, you’re more likely to return to your old drunken ways.
Don’t get us wrong. Relapse is normal and even unavoidable at times. With enough self-control, you can even enjoy the occasional drink. However, studies have shown that having abstinence as a goal provides better long-term results, especially when it comes to improving your quality of life. So before you decide to undergo rehab, make sure that you want to quit for good. Because ultimately, it’s the kind of mindset you have that will determine the success of your recovery.
Step 2: Getting past alcohol withdrawal
The first step towards recovery sounds easy enough. But wait until you enter into alcohol withdrawal. Withdrawal is common in people who have a physical and psychological dependence to alcohol as a result of prolonged heavy drinking. As soon as you stop drinking, you’ll experience cravings, headaches, shaking, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, sweating, insomnia, confusion, and anxiety.
Many experience an elevated heart rate and blood pressure, which can be dangerous in people with pre-existing conditions such as heart disease and hypertension. Some develop delirium tremens which is characterized by severe withdrawal symptoms including seizures, hallucinations, and hypersensitivity to stimuli.
It goes without saying that alcohol withdrawal is an unpleasant experience that will test your commitment. Unfortunately, it is an inescapable part of your recovery. As your body undergoes detox, it will struggle to adjust to the lack of alcohol. While the rewards of a clean and sober life are worthwhile, it doesn’t change the fact that withdrawal can be stressful, agonizing, and oftentimes dangerous.
The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. You can check in to an alcohol detoxification facility and have medical staff attend to your needs. Here, you will receive medications to keep those withdrawal symptoms at bay. Doctors and nurses will also monitor your vital signs for possible medical emergencies. You will be given access to therapists and amenities that will make your stay as comfortable as possible.
The goal of alcohol detox is to prevent initial relapse by helping you cope with your withdrawal symptoms. It is also meant to ensure your safety and prepare you both physically and mentally for the next phase of your recovery.
Step 3: Overcoming your alcohol addiction
Once you get past the withdrawal phase, you might think that you can conquer anything. In reality, your battle with alcohol addiction has just begun. Detox may have prepared you for rehabilitation, but it will not equip you with the skills and strategies necessary for sustaining a lifetime of recovery. Keep in mind that relapse is always possible. After you finish rehab, you may experience ‘triggers’ and other stressful situations that will make you want to go back to drinking.
Alcohol rehabilitation will teach you how to cope with these triggers so you can continue living in sobriety. More importantly, it will help you get to the root of your alcohol addiction. By addressing deeper issues that are causing you to abuse alcohol - issues such as trauma and depression - you can greatly improve your chances of a successful recovery.
These are made possible by the individualized care which will be based on your personal history. You will also be given access to group therapies which enable you to gain emotional support from peers. Group therapy also enables you to develop social skills and a sense of self-awareness since you will be exposed to the healthy criticism of people who, just like you, are also recovering from alcohol use disorder.
You can choose between an inpatient facility or outpatient rehab depending on the severity of your alcohol addiction. Ideally, people with intense cravings or lack a support system should look into inpatient rehab. Meanwhile, those who have better self-control or have responsibilities to attend to can enroll in an outpatient program. You can talk to your therapist about which option works best for you.
Step 4: Reintegration to a life of sobriety
Graduating from rehab can be such a relief! But the hard part is not over yet. Outside of rehab, your biggest challenge is to make sure you never go back to a life of alcohol addiction. Lucky for you, most rehabilitation centers offer programs which will make it easier to adapt to a normal life. Among them are life skills training, alumni programs, and continued therapy and support.
Keep in mind that your recovery depends on whether or not you can stay committed to sobriety. Part of its success is ensuring that you can get past the initial withdrawal phase. Alcohol rehab center allows you to transition from a life of addiction into recovery. At Recovery Blvd Treatment Center, we can help you start your journey as safely and comfortably as possible. Call us at 503-447-5056 or visit us at 1316 SE 12th Avenue Portland, OR 97214.