One of the main questions people who overindulge in alcohol ask themselves is how do I beat addiction? Do I seek medical advice? Do I check into rehab? How do I escape from the hold of alcohol addiction?
The first thing to understand is that addiction is nothing to be ashamed of. If considering going into rehab for alcohol abuse, remember addiction can be the symptom of a deeper, more underlying issue. Once you realise that, real progress is possible. This will put you on the path to rehab and freedom from alcohol and drug addiction.
One of the hallmarks of rehab therapy is that people invariably use alcohol as a coping mechanism, a way of dealing with the meanings we give emotional events of the past. Those fighting alcohol and drug addictions often feel if something goes wrong in life then it’s all their fault.
A dangerous cycle of addiction – where a person needs to continue using drugs or alcohol to avoid uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal can occur with prolonged substance abuse. By the time an individual recognises they have a problem, drugs or alcohol have already seized control. This can cause them to prioritise its use over everything else that was once important in their lives.
There are steps you can take to reverse the need for coping mechanisms. Isolate the belief, which means identifying the driving beliefs, or underlying conditions, central to your addiction. What is turning you into using alcohol or drugs? What led you to consider rehab? Is it stress, depression or feelings of failure? By isolating these beliefs, you address the core of your addiction, which is crucial to helping you beat dependency.
Negative thoughts can make it difficult to keep pushing forward in overcoming drug or alcohol dependency. With such a prevalence of negative thoughts, it is a belief that a “psycho-cognitive detox” in rehab is just as necessary as a physical one. Anxiety and depression, as well as other mental illnesses, are often coupled with alcoholism and drug problems.
Negative thoughts are often connected with the urge (and action) of drinking or taking drugs. Thinking positive thoughts should, therefore, be coupled with action. To beat addiction, you’ll need to be open to alternative, healthy choices. Finding an outlet for stress to replace the tendency to drink can significantly aid in how you can beat addiction. Using relaxation techniques and exercise have been found helpful in moving towards positive change.
The next step of rehab is considering the power that events have over you and could they be the cause of any underlying condition, a vital part of alcohol addiction rehab therapy. What is it about the event which convinces me I am not good enough? It could have been a one-off trauma or a repeating occurrence, sending you on a downward spiral of alcohol & drug dependency.
There are many ways to interpret an event. A person living with addiction may see it negatively, as a sign of being unloved or unimportant, while others may view it differently.
Do you want to be free of alcohol or drug addiction? Can you look at an event from a different perspective? You could alter your interpretation of the event and see it from another angle. Is it possible to change your point of view and give it a meaning that doesn’t suggest you are a lesser human being? Ask yourself if someone else had witnessed the same thing, would they share your belief it proved you weren’t good enough? A bonus of looking at past actions is to help addicts unload themselves of shame.
No one ever plans to become addicted to alcohol or drugs. There are many reasons why someone would try a substance or behaviour. Some are driven by curiosity and peer pressure, while others are looking for a way to relieve stress.
Other factors that might steer a person toward harmful substance use behaviours are:
Children who grow up in conditions where drugs and alcohol were always present have a higher risk of developing a substance abuse condition down the road.
Research estimates that genetics account for 40 to 60 per cent of a person’s probability of developing an abuse problem.
Teens and adults with mental health problems are more likely to develop substance abuse patterns than the general population.
Alcoholics and drug addicts often have negative thoughts about themselves and sometimes about others who do not seem to be treating them the way they think they should be treating them. Having negative feelings about the difficulties of overcoming the struggle to beat addiction, pessimism towards past failures. Other issues like irrational fears, self-condemnation over previous actions, and helplessness to feel like change is not possible can be severe detriments to motivation.
When a person is part of an alcohol or drug addiction treatment programme, talking to others in group rehab therapy is especially effective. They will hear stories from others and discover that they are not alone in their illness.
It is through working the drug treatment program that patients first discover a new sense of freedom.
Finding an organisation or recovery group in which you can give back to other people can significantly help in the process. This can be very valuable as it can provide an outlet for your mind to be free from consumption with your struggle and the focus derived in that respect.
Helping others – even if it is not with a volunteer organisation. Simply talking with people you work with or family members – can be an effective action that can not only benefit others but also aid your process of overcoming your alcohol or drug addiction.
Addicts who are in recovery will testify to the massive changes in their life that come about when they leave behind the world of active drug or alcohol addiction. They find that they worry less, feel more comfortable in social situations, and are generally able to handle situations better.
It doesn’t matter how bad their alcohol or drug problem was, they learn to feel comfortable with themselves. The slowly begin to realise that they can make meaningful contributions to their family and are valuable members of society.
If you are at the point of taking the first steps in beating alcohol and drug abuse, please don’t hold off, contact one of our treatment counsellors, right away – we’re waiting for your call.