Many people worldwide suffer from alcoholism, where they end up drinking alcohol and developing an addiction. Such a situation makes it difficult for people to function and gain control of their lives if they develop a dependency on drinking. When they use it too often and it starts to negatively impact their lives, people refer to it as alcohol abuse.
If a loved one or yourself deals with an alcohol addiction, you may wonder what’s the first steps in alcohol abuse recovery. After all, you or the person may want to turn away from it, but you must understand where you can start. As you look into the first steps and apply them, you can overcome your alcoholism and become sober.
Identifying Alcohol Abuse
If you want to avoid alcohol abuse, you must identify it in either yourself or others. While these aren’t the only signs you’ll come across, you can start by going through these common signs.
- The inability to stop drinking.
- A person turns to alcohol whenever they face stress or problems in life.
- They tend to binge drink and become drunk.
People who abuse alcohol usually find themselves in a cycle where they can’t stop drinking it. They keep turning to the alcohol and relying on it whenever they face hard or stressful times. They’ll keep drinking it to the point where they harm their bodies and can face serious consequences from their binging.
The First Steps of Alcohol Abuse Recovery
Even if you recognize an alcohol problem, you may find it difficult to stop. What first steps can you take to work past your reliance on alcohol to regain control of your life? You may think recovery starts at stopping, but you need to go through other steps first.
Recognizing the Problem
Before you can transition to the alcohol recovery process, you need to recognize a problem with the situation. If you don’t think you have a problem, you’ll have no reason to change or stop. Instead, you must realize how alcohol impacts your life and understand that it does cause problems, so you can motivate yourself to stop.
Some people keep drinking and think they don’t have a problem. Instead, they view it as a hobby or something they do for fun, so they don’t think they have to stop. If you want to stop drinking, you must recognize the problem and the fact it negatively impacts your life.
Understanding Why It Causes Problems
While you can recognize the problem, you need to also understand why it causes problems for you. You may know that alcohol has a negative impact on your life, but creating a list of the issues will help you build motivation. After all, if you see multiple issues and want to avoid them, you’ll work on the recovery process.
Some people recognize that alcohol abuse causes them to lose money, affects their relationships and even leads to negative health effects. Make sure you create a list and write them down to bring the reality of the situation to your mind.
The Humility to Seek Help
Even if you recognize the problems and want to change, you may struggle to do so if you don’t have the humility to seek help. Quitting an addiction on your own will pose tons of challenges, so you should find people to help you. You can turn to your family members, friends and even professionals to overcome your alcoholism.
For example, you can contact a rehab center or seek an addiction recovery program to overcome your alcohol abuse. Some people feel too proud to seek help from others, so they end up dealing with it on their own.
Doing so can lead to constant relapses and issues. Overcoming alcohol abuse requires you to recognize the problem and be willing to move past it. As you do so, you can work on yourself and find some help to get you away from the abuse, so you can regain control of your life. If you need a starting point and some additional support, you should call
There is good news and bad news as far as substance abuse disorders in the U.S. are concerned. The bad news is some 21 million Americans are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction; the good news is that 10% of those struggling with such an addiction are getting the help they need to get their lives back on track. That said, the journey toward sobriety is not easy; many people who, with every fiber of their being, want to break the cycle of addiction often relapse. And this is not rooted in baseless conjecture.
Studies show that roughly 40 to 60% of people relapse while they are going through an addiction recovery program in a licensed rehab facility. In most cases, the inability to cope with difficult withdrawal symptoms while going through detox was a factor in their decision to start using again. Mindful of this, many rehab facilities across the U.S. offer medication-assisted detox, which studies show is highly effective in improving an individual’s chances of achieving long-term sobriety.
What Is Medication-Assisted Detox?
After making the conscious decision to quit drugs or alcohol, the next step entails going through detox. For those not aware, detox is the body’s way of naturally ridding itself of not only drugs and alcohol but also other harmful contaminants. While this is a critical step in achieving long-term sobriety, it can trigger the following in the way of withdrawal symptoms for the vast majority of people:
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in mood
- Chronic fatigue
- Muscle pain
- Muscle spasms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Runny nose
- Sleeping difficulties
- Profuse sweating
- Anxiety and depression
Medication-assisted detox, which consists of prescription drugs and around-the-clock monitoring by a licensed physician, can help ease many of these symptoms. One of the go-to prescription drugs that many rehab facilities offer to individuals in a medication-assisted detox program is Suboxone, which is a combination drug that comprises buprenorphine and naloxone. While effective in combating withdrawal symptoms commonly brought on by quitting opioids, depressants, stimulants, and other drugs, Suboxone can quickly give way to more problems if individuals abruptly stop taking it or fail to take it as prescribed.
The Downside of Taking Suboxone to Cope With Severe Withdrawal Symptoms While Going Through Detox
Because Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist, abruptly quitting it can trigger many of the same withdrawal symptoms typical of abruptly quitting Oxycontin, Morphine, heroin, and other hard drugs. And it can be just as addictive as these harsh drugs when not taken as prescribed. While Suboxone withdrawal symptoms are similar to Oxycontin, Morphine, heroin, and other opioid withdrawal symptoms, the timeline is slightly different.
Studies show that Suboxone withdrawal symptoms start and are at their worst within the first 72 hours after an individual takes their final dose. While symptoms are somewhat less intense, most still struggle with aches and pains, insomnia, and mood swings one week after they stop taking the drug. But even after a week, they are still not yet out of the woods. After one month, many continue to struggle with depression and intense cravings. It is worth noting that the intensity and duration of Suboxone withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on how long an individual has been taking the drug and the dose they were taking.
Alternatives to Suboxone
Like any other prescription drug, Suboxone may not be the right choice for everyone. There are several drugs that physicians can prescribe to individuals in a medication-assisted detox program, including Methadone, Ativan, Valium, and the newly-approved Lucemyra. That said, it is imperative that individuals speak with their doctor about being weaned off of Suboxone to avoid encountering severe withdrawal symptoms. Once off Suboxone, they can begin taking one of the many other drugs approved by the FDA to help individuals get through detox.
All in all, Suboxone is one of the best drugs for combating most withdrawal symptoms. But it has to be taken as prescribed to work effectively and minimize the risk of adverse consequences. And as noted, it may not always be the right drug for everyone who happens to be going through a medication-assisted detox program. Call us today at 772-266-5320 to see what services we offer.