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a group of people at an alcohol addiction recovery program

The Stages of Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Recovering from alcohol addiction is often a lengthy process. Recovery works in stages, just as addiction does. Alcohol is often viewed as less risky or dangerous than other drugs due to its legality. However, alcohol use disorder affects nearly 6% of adults. For many people, alcohol addiction recovery requires professional treatment.

Detoxification for Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Those who use alcohol for a long period can have serious withdrawal symptoms when they stop consuming alcohol. This often drives those with AUD to continue using alcohol so they can function normally. Unfortunately, the body will become more dependent and greater amounts of alcohol will be needed to achieve intoxication.

Detoxification is the process of removing alcohol from the body and treating the associated withdrawal symptoms. This stage of alcohol addiction recovery can occur at a center solely for detoxification, or as part of an alcohol addiction treatment program. Other steps in recovery cannot be achieved until the client is stabilized physically through the detoxification process.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches

It’s recommended that everyone entering alcohol addiction recovery go through a supervised medical detox due to the possibility of severe withdrawal symptoms. Treatment professionals may administer Medications to help with relieving the symptoms. Disulfiram and Naltrexone help reduce the pleasurable effects of alcohol. Acamprosate helps correct chemical imbalances that are common in those with alcohol use disorder.

Alcohol Addiction Recovery Program

Once the client has made it through the initial withdrawal symptoms, usually 5-7 days, they are ready for the next step in alcohol addiction recovery. A treatment program will help the client gain the skills they need to remain sober. They will learn about their addiction and receive treatment for any co-occurring mental disorders.

There are two basic types of programs for alcohol addiction recovery. Outpatient programs are ideal for those with milder addictions or those who can’t leave family or work obligations to seek inpatient treatment. Clients may spend several hours a day at the treatment facility each day, or visit the center a few days a week, depending on the program that’s chosen.

We often offer an inpatient program for those with alcohol use disorder. Alcohol has a high relapse rate, particularly during the first year of sobriety. An inpatient program gives the client a safe place to recover without the temptation to use alcohol. They can focus solely on their recovery without the risk of relapse.

Those who choose an inpatient alcohol addiction recovery program will often attend outpatient treatment afterward to help them readjust to normal life. Aftercare programs can also help prevent relapse after the official treatment has ended.

A Lifelong Process

Alcohol addiction recovery is a lifelong process. Most people who develop alcohol use disorder find that abstaining from alcohol completely is their only choice for a normal life. Alcohol addiction doesn’t go away after you complete treatment. Instead, it becomes possible for the client to remain sober using the tools and skills they have learned. However, many people in recovery attend meetings many years after initial treatment and sobriety to help them stay sober.

Relapse prevention is a very important aspect of recovery, particularly for alcohol addiction. You can avoid many addictive substances by changing the people the client interacts with. Additionally, avoiding friends who use street drugs will greatly reduce the chances they will encounter them in their day-to-day life.

Alcohol is different. Alcohol shows up in many places. Restaurants, weddings, the homes of friends.  However, one of the best ways to stay in alcohol addiction recovery is to inform friends and family members. They can then function as part of the client’s support system, instead of unknowingly offering them alcohol.

Promises Alcohol Recovery

At Promises Behavioral Health, we offer a wide range of programs to help you overcome alcohol addiction. Alcohol addiction recovery can be difficult, but sobriety is attainable with the proper treatment. A better life is possible. To start living yours, contact us today at 844.875.5609.

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