Keeping Addiction at Bay: How To Prevent Alcohol Addiction
Addiction can come in many different forms, and alcohol addiction is arguably one of the toughest ones to overcome. With that being said, it is entirely possible to beat it, and it is also possible to manage it.
But what does it mean to manage alcohol addiction? Well, for one, it might not be necessary for an individual to seek help and support from a rehab facility, or decide to join an AA group as their first call of action.
Managing an addiction to alcohol will require the person to understand both themself, their addiction, and how the two are linked. A lot of these things can be worked out or overcome in therapy, but if a person wishes to do it alone, it’s definitely possible to do so.
Monitoring Alcohol Intake
A good place to start is to begin tracking and monitoring alcohol intake. Chances are, people aren’t always aware of how much alcohol they are consuming. If they were aware and they understood the exact damage it was causing to their health, they might significantly reduce their intake, or even quit as a result.
So individuals could start keeping a diary, similar to how people sometimes keep food diaries in order to track their diet. By keeping a diary, people can count how many drinks they are consuming on a given day, and then begin to start setting themselves clear rules.
If the goal is not to quit, but to reduce intake, a person might wish to cut down to 2-3 drinks in a given session. They could then calculate how many calories they have dropped, how much money they have saved from not purchasing drinks, and how they have reduced their intake in general.
Elsewhere, it might also be useful to take note of the locations where drinking occurs most. For instance, if the individual recognises that they are predominately drinking at certain bars, drinking at home, and drinking at certain venues that serve alcohol, they could attempt to stop going to these places, or being in the vicinity of them, so as to prevent them from feeding their addiction or being tempted to break sobriety.
Addressing the Root Causes
Once again, therapy might be a good option for those who have a deeper-rooted issue that they are trying to avoid or ignore, but if the individual is aiming to address their addiction, they might want to begin by asking themself why they are drinking in the first place.
They might find by asking this question, they will begin to slowly understand the reasons why their addiction is persisting, together with being able to connect their addiction to a feeling, emotions, or perhaps something else that is lacking in their life.
For instance, individuals might have feelings of inadequacy in themselves, feelings of a lack of self-fulfilment in life, problems in relationships with friends and family, or other issues.
By making these sorts of connections, an individual can then start to reevaluate their drinking habits and their potential addiction problem as having been a result of the problem they are attempting to ignore or avoid.
It might help to address these root causes while also keeping the aforementioned diary of alcohol intake and habits. That way, individuals can simultaneously deal with their potential addiction directly, whilst also understanding why it exists.
Beating the Addiction
There are many ways this can be achieved, and ultimately, it will come down to what things are most effective for the individual in question. Some may find that they need therapy, some might need to go to rehab, some might just need to detox for a little while, while others might need to go completely teetotaller.
If drinking has become a habit or the primary source of entertainment in someone’s life, it might be time to begin thinking about alternative activities to drinking.
For example, everyone has hobbies or things they are passionate about, and any activities that require a lot of time and energy are likely to be more effective in terms of helping people to avoid drinking, since they will simply have less time to engage with drinking.
Elsewhere, it’s good to look at anything outside of oneself, any external things that might be causing or exacerbating the problem. For instance, if an individual finds themself surrounded by people who only wish to drink for entertainment, it might be time for that person to begin distancing themself from socialising with those people.
This doesn’t mean that they need to stop being friends with these people, but if they find that they do not have enough self-control, and are becoming easily influenced by their friends, it might be something to consider temporarily while they address their potential addiction problem.
Getting Professional Help and Support for Alcohol Addiction
If an individual has tried some of the methods above and they did not work for them, or if they simply need more support in overcoming their growing addiction, seeking professional health might be the best option for beating it.
There are a range of options available for those looking for support and resources. For instance, people can check themselves into residential treatment centres (also known as rehab facilities) where they can gain access to therapy and classes that will help them with the mental side of the addiction, as well as useful resources, medication, and other forms of treatment.
In addition to residential facilities, people can also make use of partial hospitalisation. This option offers a lot of the same features (such as offering a place to stay during treatment, access to medication, and having physicians at hand), except it may not offer therapy or some of the other benefits associated with residential facilities.
Elsewhere, people might wish to join groups such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), that can offer one-to-one support, in a safe space, with other people working on overcoming their addictions.
However, as tough as things might seem now, they won’t always feel that way. While the journey to recovery might seem daunting at first, people are not alone in that journey, and keeping addiction at bay or avoiding it entirely are completely achievable goals.