7 Tips Every Alcoholic Needs to Stay Out of Trouble
Alcohol addiction is an unfortunate but real disease that affects about 8.3% of Americans. And often times, it comes with dramatic legal repercussions. Divorces, DUIs, and domestic abuse all have alcohol at their roots. However, there are ways to physically and mentally overcome the plight of alcoholism. If you are reading this article, you may be a recovering alcoholic looking for inspiration or tips to aid recovery. You may be someone who has a loved one in need of help. You may be an alcoholic who still has no idea about the seriousness of your condition.
On the other hand, you may very well know you have a problem but you do not want to be babied around. Instead, you just want a solution or new ideas. Whatever the case may be, this advice is essential for long term recovery from alcohol addiction.
- Recognize The Symptoms Of True Addiction
The first step to recovery from addiction is recognition. Assess the intensity of alcoholism by observing the quantity of drinks consumed on a regular basis, and how this drinking affects daily life.
What is a Standard Drink?
A standard drink is 12 oz. of beer, 5 oz, of wine, or 1.5 oz. of liquor. Men should not drink over four drinks a day, or 14 drinks a week. Women should not drink over 3 drinks a day or 7 drinks a week.
Types of Alcohol Abuse
Those who frequently consume more than these recommended limits are victims of heavy drinking. Those who drink large amounts of alcohol in a short amount of time are victims of binge drinking. Full blown alcoholism means you are dependent on alcohol. You may be unable to stop drinking once you start, or you may feel withdrawal on days without drinking. Drinking may become a necessity rather than a luxury.
One sign of alcohol abuse is dramatic changes in mood or personality which affect your relationships. Once drinking begins to hinder your performance at work, create problems with your family, or affect your daily life in other negative ways, it is time to address the problem.
- Understand The Negative Effects Of Alcohol
Drinking alcohol has its perks. Some drinks taste amazing. A slight buzz can feel wonderful. Drinking can be a fun social activity, and within moderation alcohol is a privilege. But consumed in large amounts, alcohol can damage the body and mind beyond repair. Those who overindulge in alcohol should be aware of how their body reacts to the substance.
Types of Bodily Harm
While intoxicated, alcohol can cause changes in personality, memory loss, lack of spatial awareness and decreased reaction times. Alcohol dehydrates the body, which leads to headaches, nausea, and disrupted sleep cycles. Long term drinking can even damage important organs and create serotonin imbalances, leading to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Cataclysmic Life Harm
You are almost guaranteed to know someone who has been charged with a DUI. In the best case scenario, they did not hurt anyone. Worst case, they were involved in an accident.
The best case scenario, the damage although detrimental, is still reversible. The worst case scenario or with a second DUI offense, you are looking at your life collapsing. From jail time to losing your driver’s license for multiple years. Not only is your income going to be butchered, but your family is going to be left helpless. In any case, if you are involved in a car accident, make sure to contact a personal injury attorney or local DUI specialist immediately.
- Observe Your Surroundings
Acknowledge what causes your alcoholism to flare up. Environment often pressures people into drinking, so recognize what triggers your drinking and make adjustments. Maybe you have a group of friends who love to drink excessively, or maybe you always feel stressed after work and turn to alcohol for relief. In these cases, you may need to find new friends or a new job that can put you on the right path and encourage you to heal.
- Seek Professional Help
As alcoholism continues to plague society, more and more people dedicate their time, money, and education into creating services that promote recovery.
Types of Professional Help
Rehab, therapy, and support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous all exist to help fight addiction, or you can join a recovery fellowship with a sponsor for extra motivation to combat alcohol dependence. Also be sure to have a dependable attorney to help you sort through any physical injures, vehicle accidents, or other misfortunes that may occur due to over-intoxication.
Never feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help.
Recognizing your illness and showing genuine interest in recovery is a commendable act, and people will be proud of you for initiating a change in your life. Trust and listen to those who are trying to help you such as your therapist, psychiatrist, doctor, or even close friends and family who want the best for you.
- Find New Passions
Life is full of beauty, excitement, and opportunities for joy. Distract yourself from drinking with other things that bring you happiness.
You can try anything from social activities like sports, book clubs, and community groups, to solo activities like reading, writing, and learning an instrument. Take up yoga or fitness classes. Try painting, sculpting, anything that sparks creativity. Learn a new language, research topics you find interesting like politics or social issues.
Occupy your headspace with ideas and goals that will make you a productive member of society. If you are unemployed, find a job so you can contribute to the economy and feel the accomplishment of hard work. Once you begin to enjoy life, you will find that alcohol is not necessary.
- Be Honest and Open
Recovering alcoholics often worry about what others think. People may judge you for your addiction, they may think you are not trying hard enough to recover, they may think you have no chance of bettering yourself. Negative thoughts may flow all around but you cannot let them affect you.
Be honest with yourself and others.
Pretending to be perfectly healthy when you are not will only hurt you in the end. Everyone copes with addiction in their own way, so never compare yourself to others. Express your emotions and insecurities freely so others can try to understand, and express your eagerness and desire to heal. Showing transparency into your thoughts and emotions will make you more comfortable with yourself, and therefore more confident in your ability to recover.
- Focus On An Overall Healthy Lifestyle
Imagining a long, happy and healthy life works as great motivation for short term recovery goals. Going to the gym instead of going to the bar, or meditating to distract the mind from withdrawal symptoms are small victories that will add up.
Promote physical, mental, and spiritual health
Focusing your efforts on physical health, with a balanced diet and regular exercise will encourage you to better yourself and put alcoholism behind you. Also focusing on mental health and spiritual awareness can help you find purpose in life without alcohol. Some people turn to religion for a spiritual escape, while others turn to nature for inspiration.
Every situation is different so find what works for you and dedicate yourself towards finding health and happiness. Repair and nurture relationships with loved ones and surround yourself with people who promote positive thoughts. However you choose to tackle the road to recovery, you will never regret the transition into a healthy lifestyle.