Apparently alcoholism is rising here in the United States. Wall Street 24/7 says that “”One in eight American adults, or 12.7% of the population, meets diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder, according to the study.
As alarming as this is, those who actually seek out the solution are but a select few from that group. According to some government data, as little as 12 percent of everyone who struggles with addiction or alcoholism will ever try to seek any help for the disorder.
This is a fairly depressing statistic even if it is overstating the problem a bit, because you have to keep in mind that out of everyone who seeks help for alcoholism, only a certain percentage of people are going to be successfully in turning their life around.
In other words, maybe only 10 or 20 out of a hundred who are suffering ever seek help. Then out of those who do seek help, only about 20 percent or so might reach a level of success where they achieve a lifetime of sobriety. So the odds stacked against the alcoholic or drug addict can seem fairly grim at first glance.
However, there is no need for you to be overwhelmed or depressed by such data. The truth is that any individual alcoholic or drug addict who truly wants to turn their life around can certainly do so.
Here is what you need to know if you are serious about overcoming alcoholism.
First of all I would strongly recommend that you attempt to start your journey by attending inpatient treatment in a rehab setting. Try to get into a 28 day program that also includes a medical detox. This is the ideal situation if you can arrange it, and doing so will likely be as easy as picking up the phone and calling a rehab center. That is the natural starting point for anyone who is really serious about turning their life around.
You may be wondering: “Why not just go to an AA meeting? Why go to rehab at all? What are they going to teach you at rehab that they cannot also teach you at AA meetings?”
Those are valid questions, and the truth is that both AA meetings and inpatient rehab have a place in a person’s recovery process. Both rehab and AA are tools that can be potentially used by anyone in recovery.
Now we would find specific examples of people who skipped rehab and went straight to AA, and we can also find examples of the opposite. But the truth is that you can definitely benefit a great deal by going to inpatient treatment first, as your starting point in recovery. Most treatment centers tend to have in-house AA meetings anyway, plus a host of other benefits such as group therapy, individual therapists, medical detoxification, and so on. So skipping rehab is, in my opinion, generally a mistake. And if you really want to improve your chances at turning your life around then you need to commit to the recovery process 100 percent. If you try to cut a corner while getting clean and sober then the most likely result of that is going to be relapse.
The way to overcome alcoholism is to take action immediately and dive into recovery head first. Go to rehab, do what they suggest for you to do, and follow up with aftercare and meetings. If you do everything that is suggested then you will very likely succeed in recovery. If you hesitate or fail to commit 100 percent to the recovery process then you probably won’t make it.
I have no idea why alcoholism is increasing, and quite frankly that is shocking because there are so many other drugs that could be substituted these days in place of alcohol, so you would think that the rate of alcohol use would be going down. But I do know that the solution is to surrender completely to the fact that you have a serious problem with alcohol, and then agree to do whatever is necessary in order to break free from it.
Many people do not want to attend inpatient treatment due to the stigma that is associated with doing so. They feel as if they are weak or criminal if they have to “lock themselves up” in order to overcome their drinking problem.
This is not the reality in inpatient treatment, however. People are not locked away as they were in the old days when they are alcoholic. You can check into treatment and expect to be treated with kindness and respect these days. Things are quite different now, and you should not feel ashamed to be seeking out help for your problem.
Everyone has problems, not just addicts and alcoholics. And quite frankly, the alcoholic who has the guts to recognize their problem and reach out for help is more admirable than someone who tries to minimize their problems and pretend that everything is fine.
In order to succeed in turning your life around you have to reach this point of ultimate surrender in which you realize that you can never be happy in this world while you are trying to self medicate with alcohol or other drugs. You have to fully accept that fact and admit it openly to yourself. Then you need to become willing to ask for help and to follow through with any advice that you are given.
Nobody wants to go to treatment, at least not initially. Nobody ever says “going to rehab sounds like fun!.” Of course we naturally want to avoid admitting that we need that kind of help. Nobody willingly wants to quit drinking and face inpatient treatment as their solution.
But I am telling you today that you should not fear the solution. Recovery from alcoholism is the single best thing that could happen for a struggling alcoholic. It opens up a whole new world in which they can be free again and enjoy the simple things in life. No alcoholic has to keep suffering at the hands of addiction if they are willing to embrace a new solution.
And so it comes down to surrender. Has the alcoholic stopped fighting against everything, everyone, and himself? Has the alcoholic finally reached that point in which they become willing to do whatever it takes in order to break free? Without reaching a point of surrender no one is going to be able to sustain a new life in recovery.
You have to go all in when you decide to get sober. In AA they say that “half measures availed us nothing.” This means that if you opt for counseling one day a week instead of a 28 day inpatient treatment program, simply because you don’t want to commit as much time to something, you are probably going to regret your decision. When you decide to get sober “for real this time” you cannot hold back and expect for it to work out. You cannot cut corners and minimize your drinking and try to manipulate the situation in any way and expect to do well.
No, when you finally make the decision that will change your life forever, it will be made humbly and without reservation. You must give up the struggle for control, and agree to accept a new solution into your life.
Recovery is a leap of faith. Going to rehab is where it can all begin. Good luck!