How to Stay Sober After Recovering from Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction and abuse are both serious problems in the United States. Consider the findings of theNational Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism(NIAAA): of the 63 percent of the adult U.S. populationwho drink alcohol, 18 million are dealing with addictive behaviors and misuse issues.While the population percentage has not significantly changed, the amounts of alcohol being consumed on aregular basis are rising, perhaps a reflection of increased economic and environmental stress. As many as 50percent of Americans state that they have one or more relatives with a serious drinking problem that interfereswith their family life and work.In fact, statistically, 3 out of every 10 adults who drink alcohol are at risk of becoming alcoholics (NIAAA).Figures from theCenters for Disease Control(CDC) indicate that while white males in the 18 – 24-year-old agegroup most often fall victim to this type of mental illness, the rates for women, Hispanics, and blacks alsocontinue to rise.
Risks of Alcohol Abuse
The immediate effects of alcohol abuse and addiction are pretty sobering in themselves. The NIAAA also reportsthat as many as 40 percent of hospital beds are given to patients needing treatment for alcohol-related illnesses.Alcohol is now the third leading cause of preventable deaths in this country. The NIAAA also cites alcoholmisuse as a key factor in 60 percent of fatal burn cases, 50 percent of sexual assault and severe trauma, and 40percent of suicides, fatal falls, and other accidents.
Types of Alcoholics
While alcohol may be the oldest and most commonly used psychoactive drug in the entire world, it is also themost abused. Most users engage socially for the enjoyment of the drink and its mild side effects. Then there arethose who abuse by binge drinking but do not actually become physically addicted.Finally, there are those who develop both a physical and psychological compulsion to drink. For them, thisbecomes a downward spiral leading to broken relationships, loss of control of finances, and increasing risk of accident or related health issues. For most, the solution is complete abstinence, getting sober, and staying sober.
Steps to Prevent Addiction
“Drying out” or sobering up, is definitely not as difficult as the next crucial part, staying clean. Living alcohol-free is possible, and there are steps you can take to ensure your success. It may be necessary to walk through adrug rehabilitation treatmentprogram that may be in-house or on an outpatient level to strengthen yourself through those first days of physical withdrawal. Individual and group therapy can impart important tools andstrategies for remaining drug-free when you return to your daily life.Having a support group around you is also a really important part of staying sober. Family and friends who willlove you and not tempt you back into your old habits are so vital. 12-step programs provide you with regularsupport and encouragement from other recovering addicts. They understand what you are going through betterthan anyone else. Having a personal sponsor who stays closely involved and holds you accountable can make a