Alcohol Use Disorder: What Is Recovery?

Posted on April 28, 2023

It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. The incorporation of new, healthy habits such as eating well and exercising will further improve both physical and mental health, and aid in the body’s recovery from alcohol dependency. A person may experience remarkable emotional highs during this stage, but should be prepared for dips in mood as well as ongoing healing works to balance and restore emotions to a normal range.

Doing a cost-benefit analysis to weigh the benefits of alcohol use against the cons and costs can sometimes help a person find clarity at this stage. Others in the precontemplation stage may feel hopeless and helpless about their situation or overwhelmed by the energy required to make a change. Alcoholics may even lie and blame others, rather than their addiction, for their problems. They usually resent suggestions that they should seek help or change their behavior.

Stage 1: The Transition to Abstinence

Also during this stage of your rehabilitation, you will learn to put the tools that you learned in early abstinence to use in other areas of your life, so that you can continue to live a truly sober lifestyle. You will discover that your future quality of life depends on more than simply not using. One focus of this stage of rehab is obviously to maintain abstinence by avoiding a relapse. You will learn the warning signs and the steps that can lead up to a relapse.

A third is establishing and maintaining a strong sense of connection to others; support helps people stay on track, and it helps retune the neural circuits of desire and goal-pursuit. Learning new coping skills for dealing with unpleasant feelings is another pillar of recovery. As treatment progresses, the focus will turn from learning about the sober life to practicing recovery techniques and healthy coping strategies every day.

Support For Families of Addicts: How To Support Someone In Recovery

They may still be drinking, but making small positive steps towards more significant action. They will also be telling friends and family about their intention to seek treatment. Sometimes people in this stage do show up for addiction treatment, but it’s not by their own volition. Typically, it’s because family, friends, an employer or perhaps a court has forced them into treatment. Unfortunately, treatment is often ineffective at this stage because individuals simply don’t believe they have a drinking problem. It’s unlikely that a person in this stage would even be interested in information about alcoholism.

motivation for sobriety

This program is focused on helping people overcome addictions by focusing on their values and integrity rather than embracing a higher power. It encourages members to make sobriety the top priority in their life and take whatever steps they need to stay on the path to recovery. Just as the 12 steps outline the path to recovery for individuals struggling with addiction, there are also 12 Traditions that are the spiritual principles behind the 12 steps.

What are The 6 Stages of Alcohol Recovery

Dr. Okhifun is a passionate medical doctor, with over five years’ experience as a general practitioner. His passion for medical education led to his journey in medical writing. He also serves as medical coordinator and content writer for Gerocare Solutions, for which he also volunteers as a health advisor/consultant for the elderly. According to SAMHSA, recovery from alcohol addiction should take place according to twelve guiding principles. The terms “recovery,” “recovering” and “healing” are to be taken as synonyms.

stages of alcoholic recovery

To find out if medications can aid your alcohol recovery, check with your doctor. According to the Association for Addiction Professionals, a number of myths may discourage patients from using medication to manage their alcohol addiction. In January 2018, the American Psychiatric Association issued new clinical practice guidelines for physicians that recommend offering the medications to patients with moderate to severe alcohol use disorder. AA members are also encouraged to choose a sponsor, which is another AA member further along in sobriety who can act as a mentor or recovery coach. Anecdotally, many alcoholics, especially those in early recovery, find the relationship with their sponsor a key to avoiding relapse. While it’s not mandatory to find a sponsor, more than 80 percent of AA members have one.

You may have had experience with managing your triggers in the real world at this point and will likely be somewhat skilled at meeting temptation with patience and commitment to sobriety. Some experts think maintenance is the final stage of addiction treatment because recovering patients have to work constantly to avoid relapse. At this point, you are not ready to take action and make a change in your life. If you are drinking too much, alcohol is causing problems for you in your life, but you have no intention to look for a way out yet.

Deciding to quit drinking is not easy, but with a firm resolve and adequate social and emotional support, the chances of a positive outcome are much higher. The six steps to alcohol recovery described here are based on an approach developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Some people consider Stage Three the first real step toward recovery, as this is when a person has made a commitment to change. They may begin this stage by taking small steps away from negative habits. Researching alcohol recovery is also common and extremely helpful during this time. In fact, jumping into recovery without understanding what it entails can make it harder than it needs to be.

When they want to emphasize the importance of ongoing treatment and lifestyle changes, they compare addiction to diabetes or high blood pressure. This comparison to chronic disease processes can make the point that ongoing medical management is necessary. When it comes to the opioid crisis, some addiction specialists have compared opioid addiction to HIV. The point is that HIV was initially a terminal disease with no treatment. The medical community considers it to be more of a chronic illness than a terminal one.

This is a good time for setting goals — an activity that helps to strengthen their commitment to change. It’s a disease that typically develops gradually over time as a person drinks more and more regularly, which causes chemical changes to occur in the brain. It stands to reason that alcohol recovery is also a gradual process with no set timeline. In addition to learning how to say no to alcohol in social settings, the recovery process typically requires looking inward. Exploring triggers will help break down the reasons you wanted to drink in the first place, making your recovery more sustainable.

3. Middle Stage

The late stage also links to the progression of alcohol-related diseases and damage. In time, the person will become visibly afflicted, even when they are not drunk. They may slur their words, have difficulty with coordination and experience cognitive declines. The characteristics of the middle or “crucial” stage include extreme shame and profound guilt surrounding drinking. At this point, the person finally realizes they have a problem and may attempt to mitigate it by changing their patterns. However, the most common attempts to alter drinking patterns involve things like switching brands or trying to scale back from liquor to beer or wine.

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