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If you're dealing with an alcohol problem and trying to get and stay sober, you're not alone.
Healthy lifestyle changes and relying on the support of friends and like-minded peers can help. Many have also found success with the 12-step method developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
However, some may be put off by AA due to its emphasis on a higher power or abstinence.
For those looking for other 12-step methods and groups, there are alternatives available.
AA isn't the only way to attain sobriety.
If you want to try a mutual support group that isn't AA, options include:
It's important to take care of yourself, live a healthy lifestyle, and cut out alcohol if you have a problem.
After all, people die from excessive alcohol consumption every day.
Here are 8 tips to stop drinking and stay sober:
Don't try to overcome alcohol addiction alone. Professional help is available and encouraged.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are real and can be dangerous, if not deadly. Not only is it safer to abstain from alcohol under professional care, but it's also more likely that you will get and stay sober.
Consider inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facilities, support groups, therapy, holistic health programs, and medication-assisted addiction treatment.
Surround yourself with friends, family, and other loved ones who support you. You may even turn to addiction support groups to meet other people who are in similar positions as you.
The more you surround yourself with healthy relationships, the easier it will be to recover and maintain sobriety.
Being around alcohol when you are trying to abstain from drinking it will only make your road to recovery harder.
If you can, avoid going to events where you know that drinking is going to be a big part.
Don't keep alcohol in your house — or anywhere that is within easy access for you. If you know that alcohol is in your kitchen, you may be more tempted to reach for it.
If you live with friends or family, kindly ask them to do the same to support your sobriety.
If you have recovered from your alcohol addiction, you can still attend support groups like AA.
Continuing to show up at support groups holds you accountable and reminds you why you got sober in the first place. Doing this can help you to stay sober.
Therapy helps you identify and unpack the reasons that may be causing you to drink.
For example, if you're struggling in your marriage or dealing with trauma, you may turn to alcohol as an escape mechanism. Therapy can help you tackle the root of your issues in a healthy way.
The more you drink, the more your passions and responsibilities can fall to the wayside. So, if you're trying to get and stay sober, consider engaging with the things you love again.
Conversely, the more you spend your time doing things you enjoy, the less you'll spend drinking.
Studies show that exercising releases natural endorphins that make you feel happy.
Because alcoholism is often linked to depression, consider getting your body moving to help boost your mood.
If you relapse, you are not alone. Unfortunately, relapsing is common because getting and staying sober can be extremely difficult.
Recovery takes time and effort. This is why it often requires professional addiction treatment.
Studies show that people who obtain professional help are more likely to remain sober than those who try to recover on their own.
A relapse does not mean failure. It just means that you have to keep trying. Alcohol and drug addiction is not easy to overcome.
Find a treatment center or helping professional that is right for you. With the support of family members, other loved ones, and healthcare professionals, you can get and stay sober.
There are plenty of benefits to relapse prevention and treatment programs.
Attending a relapse prevention program may help stop you from relapsing during your addiction recovery journey.
There are treatment options available for drug and alcohol relapse. Seek out an inpatient or outpatient rehab treatment facility, an experienced professional, or addiction support groups to start.
A support system is key in obtaining a sober life.
Here are the most successful types of treatment for alcohol and drug addiction and relapse:
Inpatient treatment takes place at a licensed residential treatment center.
These programs provide 24/7 comprehensive, structured care. You'll live in safe, substance-free housing and have access to professional medical monitoring.
The first step of an inpatient program is detoxification. Then behavioral therapy and other services are introduced.
These programs typically last 30, 60, or 90 days, sometimes longer.
Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) are sometimes referred to as intensive outpatient programs (IOP).
Partial hospitalization programs provide similar services as inpatient programs. These include medical services, behavioral therapy, and support groups, along with other customized therapies.
However, in a PHP program, you return home to sleep. Some services provide food and transportation, but services vary by program.
PHPs accept new patients and people who have completed an inpatient program and still need intensive treatment.
Outpatient treatment is less intensive than inpatient or partial hospitalization programs. These programs organize your treatment session based on your schedule.
The goal of outpatient treatment is to provide therapy, education, and support in a flexible environment.
They are best for people who have a high motivation to recover and cannot leave their responsibilities at home, work, or school.
Outpatient programs are often part of aftercare programs once you complete an inpatient or PHP program.
Medications are sometimes used in alcohol addiction treatment.
Some help reduce the negative side effects of detoxification and withdrawal. Others help reduce cravings and normalize body functions.
When combined with other evidence-based therapies (such as cognitive behavioral therapy), MAT can help prevent relapse and increase your chance of recovery.
Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and SMART Recovery are open to anyone with a substance abuse problem.
They are peer-led organizations dedicated to helping each other remain sober.
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