How to Stop Drinking
How to Stop Drinking
The very first step in the 12-Step program gives us the key to how to stop drinking:
“We admitted that we were powerless over our alcoholism –that our lives had become unmanageable.”
That may sound trite, but there are two very important points for the person affected in that statement, that, (1) we are out of control and, (2) our lives are unmanageable.
I see people come and go from the treatment center every week. Some are seeking help after a repeat bout with the disease, while others are obviously there because someone else has either encouraged them or pestered them enough to force an action.
Sometimes a person is there because of a court order. Those who have had a relapse may be discouraged or angry with themselves, but they are participating because they agree with Step 1.
People who are not in agreement with that initial realization will most often say it’s the other person’s problem. If they are there by court order, they are often pretty angry about it. People who are either abusing alcohol or are in the grip of alcoholism may completely deny their problem, and when they enter treatment it’s with “kicking and screaming” and not their own idea.
Why is treatment necessary?
Why is treatment necessary? Consider the following pieces of information and make your own determination. If a person with the disease decides to quit on their own, they stand about a four percent chance of staying sober for a year.
If that same person were to go through treatment, their chances of staying sober for the following year will increase to 50 percent. If a person goes through How to Stop Drinking, accepts weekly aftercare and regularly participates in an How to Stop Drinking meeting, their chances of staying sober for the next year increase to 90 percent. You can see that treatment and maintenance are effective. But it doesn’t stop there.
There is no cure for alcoholism
There is no cure for alcoholism. It’s important to understand this vital fact. Because of that, alcoholism needs to be managed. People need a plan. How to Stop Drinking programs for alcohol abuse and alcoholism are varied, but we’ll give you an initial look at some of them. The treatment option that is right for you, or someone you love, is best outlined by a professional and we encourage you to seek help. The professional counselor or therapist is well equipped to map out the right strategy for the individual.
Correct diagnosis imperative!
Like any disease, there needs to be a correct diagnosis, followed by a treatment plan. That initial assessment may lead to a stay in a residential treatment center, or outpatient treatment, or participation in an AA group. In any case, it is important to tailor make the best possible program.
The program will be determined largely by an individual’s battle with the disease. What is the level of alcohol dependence? Let’s say, for example, that a person is functioning well in life and they can demonstrate a level of control over their drinking, some minor intervention to assist in giving the person tools to help control the disease may be sufficient. However, if a person is farther down the path and they are not in control, that option is not going to be effective. They must stop drinking entirely and that will take some work.
30% Dropout rate for outpatient treatment
There is no substantial evidence to suggest that inpatient is better than outpatient for How to Stop Drinking, other than there is a 30 percent dropout rate in outpatient people.
The dropout rate for inpatient is about 10 percent, so that would suggest an edge to inpatient treatment. The following page will give you a look at the various types of treatment, and as you pursue options, you may want to consider what each has to offer.
In any case, we encourage you to seek help.
Common question about addiction: When do you say enough, is enough?
My husband has always had an addiction problem. However 3 years ago, he
was arrested and spent a year in rehab. Once out of rehab he went to a
halfway house for six months.
During this time I moved our
family to another state to get him away from anyone that he knew that
would upset his sobriety. Once out of the halfway house, he moved and
our life was amazing. Our marriage was strong and happy. We began trying
to have a baby and everything seemed to slowly collapse.
started using pain pills again and now meth. Now it’s consuming him. We
fight all the time he hates to be around our children. He lies and
steals and sells our belongings. If I don’t give him money he says he
hates me and fights and calls me names.
I don’t know what to do.
He won’t go to rehab and he won’t quit either. Do I stay or do I leave?
I love him more than anything in this world.
The frustration you’re feeling is almost unimaginable!
The frustration you’re feeling is really hard
for me to fathom. You’ve already done so much for your husband, but he
is still caught in the clutches of his addiction. Drug addiction attacks
the brain and is often characterized by many relapses before we hit
bottom and finally realize that we have to quit.
As a counselor, the only addicts that I’ve seen successfully quit go
to 12 step meetings daily and work on their sobriety on day at a time. I
worked with a woman who has been sober for 25 years and she knows that
she will relapse unless she is constantly working her 12 step program.
If she could talk to you she would tell you that the 12 steps are
the only program that has allowed her to stay sober and to live her life
as she chooses. When she is using she is a slave to the drugs and they
control EVERY aspect of her life.
Your love for your husband may be the only thing that he has that
will keep him a live and stop him from the fatal consequences of his
addiction. You need to love him but hate his addiction and make the best
decisions possible to help him to get over this relapse and return to
the man that you love and that he wants to be.
I would recommend that you immediately start going to Al-anon and
working the 12 steps and then decide the best course of action to get
your husband to start working the 12 step program too.
As you begin working the steps and going to Al-anon you should find a
sponsor who has been where your at and can help you to make the day to
day decisions necessary to get your husband the treatment and support he
I believe your husband must go to meetings DAILY for 90 days and
then work the steps for the next few years in order to learn the coping
skills he needs to avoid using. If you husband is not going to meetings
and working the steps you should assume he is using.
Please go to Al-anon allow them to help you to help your husband.
and Finally Remember:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
– Matthew 7:7-8
Al-anon helps families learn how to best deal with the terrible problem of addiction, this week on Recovery Now!
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