It is no secret that there is a big drinking culture in the UK. The habit of finishing work and then heading straight to the pub has been ingrained in our society for over a hundred years.
It is a culture that leaves many not realising that their frequent heavy drinking is actually an alcohol dependency.
When most people are told to picture an alcoholic, there are certain assumptions that are made. But in reality, anyone can have a drinking problem, and everyone deserves to get the help that they need.
So if you are ready to begin the process to stop drinking, then we are here to help you.
At Addiction Advocates, we have alcohol rehab centres in London and across the UK that can provide you with the medical treatment from fully trained health professionals that you need.
How to Stop Drinking
In theory, it seems quite simple to overcome alcoholism. That all you need to do is stop your alcohol misuse, and you will be fine.
Unfortunately, when it comes to alcohol addiction, it is not that simple.
When an alcohol dependency has developed, your body now believes that it needs alcohol in order to continue to function. This means that when you go a long period of time without some kind of alcoholic drink, you will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms.
An alcohol dependency is developed because when you start drinking, your brain experiences a rush of dopamine, the feel-good chemical. Eventually, your brain becomes used to the higher dopamine levels, and you will need to abuse more alcohol in order to experience that same rush.
This is when you develop a higher tolerance and when your brain becomes dependent on the alcohol leading to the potential for withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol withdrawals can be dangerous under the right circumstance. If you begin to experience them, you must seek out the help of health professionals as soon as possible.
The alcohol withdrawal symptoms are:
● Hot flashes
● Mood swings
In some cases, you can also experience hallucinations or even seizures. They are the main reason why you must try to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms outside of a medical facility. Quitting drinking should never put your safety at risk.
In order to stop drinking and stay sober long term, you need to work through your withdrawal symptoms in a safe and controlled environment.
In an alcohol rehab centre, you will begin your journey to long term sobriety by working through the detox process.
The detox consists of your body ridding itself of all the alcohol in your system. The process takes around ten days to complete, and during this period, you will be monitored by the health professionals.
They can provide you with medication such as Benzodiazepines to relieve the withdrawal symptoms such they prove too much for your body to handle.
Once your system is clear of alcohol, your mental health needs to be dealt with.
Long term alcohol abuse can cause both mental and physical health problems. The detox will help you to deal with the physical, but you need a mental health professional to help you with the rest.
There are various treatment plans available depending on your specific needs and experiences. In most cases, you will be expected to partake in group therapy.
You will work with a therapist to understand what has caused your addiction so that you can avoid triggers for your cravings.
There are a number of factors that go into the development of an alcohol addiction, and any number of them could apply to you.
● An undiagnosed mental illness you are trying to self medicate.
● Past trauma such as military service, assault, domestic abuse, natural disaster, crime.
● Family members who have also struggled with addiction can lead to the behaviour being normalised, especially if you were exposed to the alcohol abuse from a young age.
● Some people can be genetically more likely to develop an addiction; this is usually due to a dopamine deficiency that is passed down through the generations.
This can lead to you developing an alcohol dependency, and each factor must be separately dealt with.
Through your therapy treatment plan, you will learn how to avoid the triggers for your cravings and to replace your alcohol misuse with healthier coping mechanisms.
After Alcohol Rehab
Your journey to long term recovery doesn’t end with your stay at the alcohol rehab centre. It is a long and continuous journey that requires you to do regular upkeep of your physical and mental health.
One of the best ways to do this is by following the relapse prevention plan that will be provided to you by your rehab centre.
The plan will contain the various tools and techniques you learned in your therapy sessions that you can incorporate into your everyday life.
But the best way to avoid future relapses and to stay on the right track is to join an alcohol support group.
Alcoholics anonymous is a wonderful option for those struggling with alcoholism, and local groups can be found all across the UK. It will offer you accountability for your actions and support from those who really understand your experiences with alcoholism.
You will be able to speak with people from all walks of life at different stages of their journey to long term recovery and see that this isn’t a sprint or a marathon. Instead, it is a change of lifestyle that will enable you to be happier and healthier.
Where to Start?
The best thing you can do now is to contact us at Addiction Advocates so that we can start you off on those important first steps towards long term sobriety.
We can talk you through the various treatment options available to you and recommend what will work best for you and your specific needs.
Whether you are struggling with a full-blown alcohol addiction or an alcohol use disorder, there is help available to you locally.
You just need to be ready and willing to reach out and let your journey begin.