Alcohol Awareness Month: Opportunities for Recovery
The month of April is widely known as Alcohol Awareness Month. It was established by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) in 1987. The month is dedicated to decreasing stigma surrounding alcoholism, aiding those struggling with alcohol, providing resources for family members & friends who want to help, and educating the general public about alcohol dependency and recovery. This year’s theme is “Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery,” so we’re talking about alcohol recovery, the recovery process, and treatment.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) “recovery from alcohol and/or drug problems is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness, and quality of life.” Alcohol recovery is a very complex process that encompasses restoring all aspects of your life. Through recovery, relationships deepen, physical and mental health improves, and an overall healthier & joyful lifestyle develops.
The process of recovery is gradual and requires a lot of patience, determination, and support. It also looks very different for each individual because of his or her personal history, issues, and needs. Staying sober is hard work because you are working to reverse the damage done physically, emotionally, mentally, and relationally. Changes need to be made in all of those areas – which can take a lengthy period of time
In the early stages of recovery, denial is a huge obstacle that needs to be overcome. Also, because of the strong mental and physical dependency on alcohol, setbacks can occur. And, that’s okay because it is all part of the recovery process. During those setbacks, it’s important to refocus on your determination and willpower to move forward towards recovery through treatment and support! Although the road to recovery is difficult, it is possible to make progress and become fully recovered.
There is not one type of treatment that will work for everyone. Treatment varies for each individual depending on his/her issues, needs, and history. Also, treatment should go beyond the alcohol abuse. It’s important to find the deeper reasons and root causes for dependence on alcohol. Many times other mental health issues are involved, so it’s important to get treated for those issues as well.
The most common treatment types for alcohol dependency are inpatient, outpatient, chemical dependency treatment, and group therapy. Here at the Holiner Psychiatric Group, we provide chemical dependency treatment for alcoholism. Our doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners make sure to meet your needs with individualized treatment. Our approach to alcoholism includes the healing of both your body and mind.
Alcohol Recovery Tips
Alongside treatment, here are helpful tips for a successful recovery:
- Set specific and attainable goals
- Announce your goals to family members and/or friends who can keep you accountable
- Remember a setback does not mean you are a failure
- Learn from your relapse, or slip, in order to move forward
- Never give up
- Get rid of any temptations or bad influences that could cause you to slip
- Find new interests, activities, and/or hobbies
- Develop new coping skills
- Learn how to handle stress in a healthy way
- Be prepared for cravings and triggers
- Build a great network of supporters who can encourage and cheer you on
- Be honest with your family and friends about your feelings, challenges, and struggles