“It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop,” this saying is by Confucius, a Chinese philosopher. Its words bring forth empowerment and change – especially for those going through recovery. And just as this mantra pushes one to venture each day, so do you with your everyday choices.
Recovery is a process you choose to take on every day, and it is a choice that will significantly change you for the better. Likewise, even though the journey may feel slow, it is still an improvement nonetheless and a long way from where you once were.
With this, we list the differences between alcohol abuse and dependence and the basics of the recovery process to aid you in your journey. Thus, continue on reading below:
Difference Between Alcohol Abuse And Dependence
Alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence are two very different things. Although they may seem similar, there is a fine line that separates the two.
Alcohol abuse refers to the use of alcohol without developing any psychological or physical dependence on it. This could mean that drinkers are fine without taking in alcohol for months or weeks – but when they do drink, they could have difficulty stopping themselves from drinking too much, which could result in health or legal problems.
On the other hand, alcohol dependence pertains to having a deep craving for alcohol, resulting in psychological and physical symptoms once they experience withdrawal from it. Also, people with alcohol dependence could have these cravings in inappropriate times or places – whether this be too early in the morning or the middle of work.
Although alcohol abuse and dependence are two different things, both could benefit from recovery and treatment alike. And by learning such, you take another step further in your journey to recovery.
The Recovery Process
When you recognize that the habit of taking in alcohol has hindered your lifestyle, you already take the first step in recovery. However, since there is no instant cure for alcohol abuse, the best way to overcome it is to keep track of your progress through proper treatment. Here, we’ve highlighted the best course that you could go for:
Contacting A Health Care Professional
The first stride you will need to take in your recovery is taking advice and asking for help from a healthcare professional. With this, you could get supervision to withdraw safely and adequately from alcohol. They could instruct you on options to take depending on the amount of alcohol you took, the duration of your drinking, and even the issues you could have on your health.
Additionally, your contacted professional could prescribe you medication to ease your recovery. If you’re having financial troubles, consider using a card that saves up to 80% when you buy medicine. Since you will practice abstinence from alcohol, you could have withdrawal symptoms that come with it.
Lastly, you should never take prescription medicine with any alcohol. This could worsen the side effects of the medication or even cause it to be less effective. This problem is most common with the elderly, as adults aged 65 and older take on average four prescription drugs daily. However, regardless of your age, abstinence from alcohol while taking medicine ensures your safety and helps in your recovery.
Taking A Self-Governed Method
A self-governed approach is one way to recover from alcohol abuse. This pertains to taking the initiative in planning your goals and managing your cravings. For this approach, you will have to create and establish realistic and specific goals that would guide you every step of the journey.
Whether this is to achieve sobriety for a month or a week, to remove alcohol in your home, or to limit your alcohol intake, small steps like placing your goals and achieving them are still a step nonetheless.
Additionally, reaching out for support will also be one factor that could help you. Asking for support from friends, family, or counselors will benefit you as they give you emotional and mental support to focus and reach your goals.
Not only this, as you could also join support groups to help you. Taking time to talk about your condition and growth to others who relate to you is also healing. Your shared experiences will help guide you in your recovery as you lean on to others and learn from them as well.
Applying For Psychotherapy
Therapy is a vital step in recovery. You will need to contact a licensed and reputable therapist to mentally and emotionally help you. With therapy, you will learn how the coping mechanisms that come with the symptoms of your withdrawal from alcohol, and it could also help you identify what triggers your cravings.
Also, remember not to self-medicate or self-diagnose yourself as you could give yourself the wrong medication – which could ultimately harm you. Thus, it would help if you get treatment from a trained therapist, and it should always involve treatment for your overall well-being.
Watching What You Eat Also Helps
Your physical health should not be neglected as well. With this, you will have to eat high carbohydrates to balance out the serotonin in your brain (which helps you with relaxation). Some examples of this food group are starchy foods such as beans, peas, carrots, potatoes, bread, and pasta.
In addition, dairy products that are enriched with calcium and protein-based food are also beneficial. Examples of this are soy-based food, cheese, milk, fish, and meat.
However, you may find yourself having difficulty ingesting food in the first few stages of recovery. Don’t let this get to you as it is a good idea to start with frequent and small meals. Also, you could see a nutritionist for this as they will give you the best professional advice.
Alcohol abuse remains a prevalent issue, especially with 25.8 percent of 18 to older heavily binge-drinking in 2019 and the United States alone. However, seeking treatment is not impossible as it only takes your choice and a few others to support you.
When choosing the best for your well-being, starting on treatment is a journey that is worth taking on. Furthermore, walk the path, learn the language of letting go as together, we root for your recovery!