Alcohol Abuse and Dependence (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Recovery from alcohol abuse or dependence means finding a way to stay sober while changing your attitudes and behaviors. You will work to restore relationships with your family and friends and people at your job or school. You will need to find meaning and happiness in a healthy lifestyle that doesn't include alcohol.
Recovery is not a cure. It is a lifelong process. It begins in treatment, but it doesn't end when your treatment ends. There are 10 principles of recovery(What is a PDF document?) that can help you reach your goals and learn new things to help yourself. They help you gain self-confidence and respect for yourself. They make clear that you're in charge of your recovery. How far you go is up to you.
An important part of recovery is being sure you have support. You can:
Plan for lapse and relapse
Stopping alcohol use is very hard. It's not unusual to have setbacks, even years later. Very few people succeed the first time they try. Many people who are trying to recover from alcohol addiction will have lapses or relapses along the way.
It's smart to plan for a lapse or relapse before it happens. Your doctor, family, and friends can help you do this.
Deal with stress
Some people find that relieving stress helps them during recovery. Although there is little research to show that managing stress helps you stay sober, you may find that it helps you feel better overall.
You can find ways to deal with stress, such as sharing your feelings with others or writing to express your journey through recovery. Do something you enjoy, like a hobby or volunteer work. Learn how to relax your mind and body with breathing exercises or meditation.
You can do many things to reduce stress. To learn more, see the topic Stress Management.
Have a healthy lifestyle
When you abuse or are dependent on alcohol, you often get away from some of the basics of good health. Part of recovery is finding your way back to a healthy lifestyle.
Talk to your family about your drinking
Alcohol abuse or dependence can harm your relationships with family and friends. You and your family may feel you have turned against each other. You may be angry at your family and friends, and they may be angry at you.
If you can, talk with your family and friends about your drinking problem and recovery. Your family and friends need to know that they did not cause your alcohol problem but that they can help you during recovery.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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