Alcohol Abuse and Dependence - Recovery
dependence means finding a way to stay sober while
changing your attitudes and behaviors. You will work to restore relationships
with your family and friends and people at your job or school. You will need to
find meaning and happiness in a healthy lifestyle that doesn't include alcohol.
Recovery is not a cure. It is a lifelong process. It begins in
treatment, but it doesn't end when your treatment ends. There are
10 principles of recovery(What is a PDF document?) that can help you reach your goals and learn new things to
help yourself. They help you gain self-confidence and respect for yourself.
They make clear that you're in charge of your recovery. How far you go is up to
stay sober after treatment, focus on your goals. Find things to do, such as
sports or volunteer work. Learn how to say
no to alcohol and drugs.
An important part of recovery is being
sure you have support. You can:
Develop and use social support and support groups. Support comes in many forms. You can find it in seminars and
groups led by professionals, 12-step groups with people who also have drinking
problems, and your relationships with family and friends. You can make support
groups more helpful by
being an active member.
- Connect with family and friends. They can help you stop
drinking and stay sober by encouraging positive steps. For them to do this, you
have to be honest with them about your problems and help them by
- Take part in recovery group activities. You may have used
alcohol to make friends or be with a social group. Your counselor or doctor can
help you learn skills to make friends without drinking. For example, your
counselor may help you find a social skills training class.
- Find a
sponsor, and work with this person. A sponsor is
someone who has been in recovery for a long time and helps you stay
Plan for lapse and relapse
Stopping alcohol use is very hard. It's not unusual to have
setbacks, even years later. Very few people succeed the first time they try.
Many people who are trying to recover from alcohol addiction will have lapses
or relapses along the way.
- A lapse is the first time you use alcohol
again after you have quit or brief episodes of alcohol use at later points.
- A relapse is not being able to stay sober over time.
It's smart to
plan for a lapse or relapse before it happens. Your doctor, family, and friends can
help you do this.
Deal with stress
Some people find that
relieving stress helps them during recovery. Although
there is little research to show that managing stress helps you stay sober, you
may find that it helps you feel better overall.