If you notice any of the signs and symptoms of alcoholism in you or a loved one, you might feel confused or frightened.
We understand that it can be overwhelming when it comes to dealing with alcoholism. Fortunately, you can take simple and practical steps to help you or someone you love to get on the right path.
The first step is to admit that there is a problem. Denial is a common symptom of any addiction. Many are not ready or willing to accept that their alcohol use has become problematic. However, when we finally admit to ourselves that our alcohol use is an issue, we may feel a sense of relief. Though it can be difficult, accepting the truth opens up the possibility of a brighter future.
The next step is to seek professional help. Even when people admit that there is a problem, it can be challenging to quit or even cut down on alcohol use. Excessive, prolonged use leads to dependence and addiction – and many of those who have attempted to quit alone ultimately relapse due to the desire to avoid withdrawal.
Those who successfully detox alone often find their emotions overwhelming and soon find themselves drinking again. As the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous puts it, “alcohol is cunning, baffling, and powerful.” It is also very patient and can wait years to re-surface.
Without the proper support and coping tools, people are very vulnerable to relapse. However, alcohol addiction is not a life sentence, and help is available.