If you have come to the realization that your drinking is out of control, it’s important that you finally do something about it.
While residential alcohol rehabilitation facilities can provide intensive treatment programs – including detoxification, counseling, and ongoing medical services – they can be costly and typically require you to put the rest of your life on hold for weeks or months at a time.
They also aren’t always necessary for everybody. Different people require different types of treatment for their alcohol dependency. Some people are able to overcome their alcohol problems on their own by making these seven simple adjustments to their lives.
1. Understand Your Problem
The first step of most alcohol treatment programs is for the person to acknowledge that they have a problem. This can be very difficult, but if you are actively seeking ways to treat your alcoholism, you have already completed this important first step.
What’s required of you, then, is to understand why you are drinking so much. Consider the underlying causes and triggers for your alcoholism. Is it to deal with stress and anxiety? Do you have a genetic predisposition to alcoholism (in other words, were your parents or grandparents alcoholics)?
Changing any kind of negative behavior can be challenging, but you can’t change something that you don’t acknowledge. You’ve already admitted to yourself that you have a problem. Now do some soul-searching to discover why you have a drinking problem in the first place.
2. Take a Logical Approach to Your Problem
You understand that your drinking is having a profound negative effect on your life, your career, and possibly your family. Yet you continue to drink anyway. This is not a rational behavior. And it can only continue if you continue to think irrationally about your problem.
Try to think rationally about your alcohol addiction. Explore the underlying causes. If you can remove the triggers to your drinking, you may be able to eliminate your problem.
If you can’t take a logical approach, additional steps may be required. If you are in denial about your drinking problem, then you aren’t confronting it. You are marginalizing something that is destroying your life, and that simply doesn’t make sense.
Is it possible that you are using alcohol to medicate yourself against your fears, anxieties, depression, or psychic pain? If so, it’s going to be practically impossible for you to approach your problem rationally. If that’s the case, then you are going to need to get the rational perspective of other people in the form of outside help.
3. Replace Negative Habits with Positive Ones
Sometimes problem drinking is habitual. You become accustomed to drinking at a certain time or place every day, so you just do it without thinking.
If this is the case, you may be able to replace your negative habit with a positive one. First you will need to break the habit. Whatever is triggering your drinking, make a physical, temporal or geographic change so that the trigger has no power over you.
Then replace your drinking with something more positive and life-affirming. One option would be physical exercise. Rather than walking into your favorite bar in the middle of the afternoon, take a walk around the park instead. Or join a gym and get involved with improving your physical strength and endurance.
For some people, negative addictions such as drinking too much can be replaced with positive addictions such as working out or running.
4. Identify Your Danger Zones
These are the triggers that cause you to drink. They could be a certain time a day, a specific location, or a type of situation, such as being in your home alone at the end of the day with nothing else to do but drink.
Once you can see your danger zones approaching, change your course. Do something else so that you never encounter the triggers that cause you to drink.
5. Make Radical Change in Your Life
You can program your mind the same way you can program a computer. The human brain is essentially the most efficient computer ever created.
To reprogram your mind, make changes that are going break your addiction. If you have a stressful job that is driving you to drink, think about changing jobs or even a new career. If it’s your home life that causing you to be stressed out, get the counseling you need or consider making the changes that can save your life.
6. Take Responsibility for Your Actions
You need to be accountable for the pain your drinking is causing you, your family, friends, co-workers and other people. This is often the most difficult step for many people. It’s far easier to believe that it’s not your fault that your life is out of control. But deep down, you know the truth, don’t you?
7. Get the Help You Need
After completing all of these steps, if you are still unable to overcome your drinking problem, it’s probably time for you to seriously consider getting professional help. Talk to your primary care physician about your medical options. Your doctor can refer you to a treatment program that best suits your needs.
The most important thing is to begin the healing process as early as possible. Once you take the first step, you’re already on your journey to recovery.