Dealing with alcohol dependence can be a struggle that some alcoholics will never even try to deal with. Others will try and fail repeatedly, unable to really break into recovery at all. What is the secret to overcoming alcohol dependency, and how can a struggling alcoholic take action to start living a new life in recovery?
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to this question. But there are some solutions, and there are some things that can be done for the alcoholics so that they can push themselves toward these solutions.
For example, the alcoholic can:
1) Go to inpatient rehab. This is probably the best step for most people. No other solution really offers the same level of support or “break from reality” that inpatient treatment offers. Real alcoholics who struggle to put together a few days sober will almost always benefit greatly from being in an inpatient setting. Part of this is simply due to the controlled environment and the lack of available alcohol. The other part of it is due to the level of support and peer interaction that comes from being in rehab.
2) Attend long term rehab. This is the best step for the desperate alcoholic who has tried everything else and still continues to relapse. For people who have gone to treatment multiple times and still continue to drink, long term treatment may be the best solution. It can work when other strategies have failed to keep someone sober. This is because long term rehab dedicates the most effort and the most resources to helping an individual with their alcoholism. No other method of treatment can offer the same level of care.
3) Go to counseling or therapy. This probably won’t work, at least not in terms of sobering someone up. If it does, then that is great, but don’t count on therapy as being a solution in and of itself. It generally takes more action in order to make a difference for a using addict or alcoholic.
On the other hand, counseling can make a big difference in the life of a recovering alcoholic, as it can help them to grow and learn new things about themselves. But as a primary recovery solution this one falls a bit short in my opinion.
4) Attend 12 step meetings like AA. This works for some alcoholics right out of the gate, without so much as a single trip to rehab. For others, AA is not a good fit for them for a variety of different reasons. But those who are desperate and willing can do well with this social form of group support, especially if they dig into the program and start using the principles in their own life.