Recovery can be a long and difficult process, however, there is a positive end to the journey.
It is essential to have support, advice and help at every step in your recovery to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible and to make the process as quick as possible.
The good news is that the further on in recovery you are, the easier it gets. Understanding the recovery process can help you plan for the future.
Admitting there is a problem with alcohol
The very first step is admitting to yourself there is a problem.
You may have recognised some signs or symptoms, or someone may have spoken to you about the issue.
Once you acknowledge the habit, you can begin to take steps to break it.
Once you have acknowledged the issue you can start treatment. Generally, you would benefit from professional help. This could be from your GP or charity or community groups. Help to Stop Drinking can also give you guidance.
You could try self-help, or rely on someone you trust, but depending on the severity of your addiction you may need more support from a professional.
The NHS will provide free help, but there can be a wait for this. You can go private for help sooner, but this will then cost more. It will depend on your budget and personal circumstances as to what suits you.
Treatment can include therapy and medication amongst other strategies. Working with a professional will give you access to the full range of help and make the recovery process an easier journey.
When you stop drinking you are likely to start getting withdrawal symptoms. This can be very difficult and is a time when a lot of people struggle on the path to recovery.
The first 48 hours are generally the worst. The good news is that you can seek treatment to get over this first hurdle. This can include medication to help get you over the worst of it.
Withdrawal symptoms can be very dangerous if left untreated so it is better to speak with a medical professional if you are struggling with withdrawal symptoms from alcohol.
After you have overcome the initial withdrawal stage, the recovery will continue, and the support and help you need may change.
You may need to learn new ways to cope in the long-term. You may relapse. Don’t punish yourself if this happens, treat it as a lesson. Learn why it happened and what steps you can take to prevent a reoccurrence.
You may find that rehabilitation centres are good for the initial support in the early days, then when you are in the long-term stages of recovery, counselling and support groups may support you more.
Websites such as Help to Stop Drinking are useful places to read and understand more about what you are going through, as well as offering advice and support.
It’s important to also build a network of supportive people around you. This could be friends and family, or people from your support group, or your counsellor.
Recovering from alcohol addiction is hard, but you don’t have to do it alone. Help is there if you want it.