Alcohol addiction is one of the results of a culture surrounding a substance that has been legalized. Unlike illicit substances, where your drug of addiction is hard to come by and easier to avoid, alcohol is not only everywhere in Australia, but it’s advertised heavily. Adding to this, the choice to not drink is often frowned upon or ridiculed, especially among men.
Alcohol addiction is a sickness not many people want to admit to, even fewer want to get treated for, and fewer than that make it through without relapsing. It’s important to examine your own drinking habits when thinking about alcohol addiction, and educating yourself on the telltale signs of an alcohol addict. These can help you keep an eye out for friends and loved ones, as well as monitoring yourself in the process. Then you can get the right help to overcome this troubling disease.
Most people don’t see their drinking problem as a problem until something major happens. Maybe a bank card gets declined on a small purchase immediately after payday, or you pawn away a family heirloom, or a relative stops talking to you. All of these can be what’s known as a “moment of clarity”.
All of a sudden, you see all of the patterns; the times when your drinking took something from you, when you decided to drink instead of spend time with loved ones or friends, when you felt physically uncomfortable without some form of intoxication. All of these point to a problem with alcohol or other substances, and all of these addictions can be managed, but recognizing the damage that’s been done and the problems that have caused it is the first step.
The next step is to seek help. Alcohol counseling is available to many people, and some services are even offered through medicare to make them as affordable as possible. The main hurdle with seeking help is the opinions of those around us. Alcoholics often attract other alcoholics, through sheer presence in places that serve or sell alcohol, but also through pastime hobbies.
Bars, nightclubs, pubs, and bottle shops are all places an alcoholic will spend a portion of their free time, and the worse their addiction, the more time they’ll spend there. When you’re at a place most nights a week, you begin to get to know the other people that are there as much as you are, and these are the people who will often keep you in the jaws of addiction, sometimes by association, and sometimes by active discouragement of treatment. How many times have you heard someone say that they can stop drinking whenever they want, only to go on drinking? A negative attitude toward quitting is a warning sign too.
Once you manage to kick the habit and are actually making it work, it’s important to fill the spare time you have now with things you enjoy. You will notice the absence of your drinking buddies just as much as the absence of your drink, but if they aren’t also kicking the habit, you can’t spend time with them.
Relapsing is infinitely more likely when around other alcoholics who don’t believe drinking is a problem, so find yourself some hobbies that take up your time and let you be creative. Creating things is a good outlet for your busy mind, and it helps you to take the frustration and loneliness and make something wonderful with it instead of letting it stew.
Once you’ve made it past the hurdles that you want to make it past, staying sober can be tough. How long after you get sober will you need to stay sober? How long is long enough before your next drink? These are questions an addicted mind will likely ask, and you’ll know you’re further along the path to recovery when the thought of never having another drink again doesn’t scare you, and you can sit comfortably with it for a while.
With these hints, you have a good basis to start on your way to recovery, or to help a loved one to begin their journey.