6 Easy Ways to Make Alcohol Addiction a Thing of the Past

Research has shown that a variety of practices and habits can help people remain in stable recovery from alcohol addiction and reduce the risk of relapse. Your support group, sponsor, and therapist are all readily available support sources who can help you navigate your recovery journey.

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1. Be Honest—With Yourself and Others

During the early stages of recovery, denial often presents a challenge. Even after admitting that you have an addiction, you may find yourself not being truthful about the extent of your alcohol misuse, the consequences, or your progress during recovery.

If you feel like you can’t be honest, it could be a sign of emotional relapse.

There’s a saying in AA that you’re only as sick as your secrets. AA encourages members to practice complete honesty as long as it does not cause harm to someone else.

A good test of complete honesty is if you feel “uncomfortably honest” sharing in your support group. If you aren’t already in therapy as part of your treatment program, consider seeing a therapist help you work through areas where honesty continues to be a challenge for you.

2. Attend Support Group Meetings

Regularly participating in a support group can help reduce substance use, increase engagement with treatment protocols, and reduce cravings.

Whether you attend AA meetings or an AA alternative such as HAMS, find a group that you are comfortable with, and be an active participant. Follow the group’s recommended practices, such as working the 12 Steps and choosing a sponsor.

3. Practice Good Self-Care

The term self-care conjures up images of face masks and bubble baths for many of us. In reality, self-care goes much deeper, and it’s a crucial component of recovery.

Self-care is broadly defined as emotional, psychological, and physical care.

Self-care is broadly defined as emotional, psychological, and physical care. Many people use drugs or alcohol to relax, escape, or reward themselves. Self-care can meet the same needs but in a non-destructive way.

The specifics of self-care vary from person to person. Some people may need to focus on better physical self-care, including exercising, eating a healthy diet, and getting better sleep. For many people, self-care means tending to their emotional needs. Self-care may involve being kind of yourself, making time for yourself, and permitting yourself to have fun.

Many people resist the concept of self-care because it’s selfish, expensive, or too time-consuming. These beliefs are untrue. Self-care gives you the energy you need to show up in other areas of your life, and it can be as simple and low-cost as a few minutes of meditation.

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4. Avoid Triggering Places

For many people with alcohol addiction, their social lives revolve around bars and other places where alcohol is readily available. Changing where you spend your time and with whom will likely be necessary as you create a life that makes it harder to consume alcohol. Avoid places where you previously drank or feel pressured to consume alcohol, which may trigger a relapse.

5. Avoid Major Life Changes

While some lifestyle changes are necessary during recovery, you should avoid major changes during the first two years. That may include starting a new job, moving, having a baby, entering into a new relationship, or even getting a pet. Major changes can create extreme stress, and stress can lead to relapse.

If you find yourself in a situation where a major change is necessary, make sure you have plenty of support.

If you find yourself in a situation where a major change is necessary, make sure you have plenty of support. For example, if you live in an environment that is not supportive of where other people misuse drugs or alcohol, it may be more beneficial for you to find a new living situation, even if it initially creates some extra stress. Go to extra AA meetings during this time if possible, stay in close contact with your sponsor or another supportive individual, and devote some extra time to self-care.

6. Start a Gratitude Practice

A regular gratitude practice can be a powerful tool during recovery. Research shows that practicing gratitude can lead to greater emotional well-being, reduce aggression, improve sleep, and increase resilience. Spend a few minutes every day recognizing the things in your life you are thankful for.

Contact Us for Help

If you or someone you know struggles with alcohol addiction, contact us today at 800-839-1686Who Answers?. We can help you find treatment to help you stay on the road to long-term recovery.

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