What’s the First Step in Alcohol Abuse Recovery?

There are several steps in alcohol abuse recovery, and while each one is equally important, it’s the first step that is the most crucial. This first step is admitting that you have a drinking problem and that you’ve become addicted to alcohol. It is also the most difficult step for many people, especially if they’re the type of person who doesn’t like to admit that they have a problem.

Our society still tends to treat alcohol and drug addiction like a moral failing, and nobody wants to admit that they are a failure. What so many people fail to understand is that alcoholism is a disease, and it should be treated as such. There should be no shame in being diagnosed with a disease, so there should be no shame in admitting that you need treatment for your own alcoholism.

Recognizing When You Have a Problem

In order to take the first step towards recovery and admit that you are an alcoholic, you first need to recognize the early signs of addiction in yourself. Alcohol addiction is a process, and if you can recognize some of these early signs, you may be able to go into treatment before your addiction can truly grab ahold of you. Some of these signs include:

  • Being unsuccessful in limiting the amount of alcohol you consume.
  • Spending much of your time thinking about drinking even when you’re sober.
  • Spending too much time recovering from the effects of alcohol, such as when you have a hangover.
  • Experiencing intense cravings for alcohol.
  • Being unable to fulfill major obligations at work or at home.
  • Giving up on social activities and hobbies in favor of drinking.
  • Continuing to drink even when you know that it is causing serious problems in your life.

Seeing these signs in yourself is admittedly difficult. After all, all of us have blind spots when it comes to our own problems. It is probably more likely that your loved ones will see these signs before you do. If they do, really think about what they have to say and take a look at yourself. If it turns out that they’re right about any of them, you might have a problem with alcohol and should get help. It’s also important to remember that you don’t need to hit rock bottom and have your life go completely out of control before you seek help.

Alcohol addiction can be a mild problem, but even a mild problem can still have an impact on your life. It’s also much easier to detox and go through treatment while your drinking problem is relatively mild. You still may experience withdrawal as you detox, and you’ll still need to undergo therapy to address the underlying reason for your drinking, but it’s easier to put your life back together when it hasn’t completely fallen apart.

What Comes Next?

After you’ve admitted to yourself that you need help for your alcohol addiction, your next step is to find a treatment program that is right for you. Fortunately, you have several options available to you. If your addiction is particularly severe, you may need to check into a rehab facility for an inpatient treatment program. These programs last anywhere from 30 to 90 days and give you a chance to medically detox under the supervision of trained medical staff. If your addiction is still relatively mild, you may be able to attend an outpatient program.

This will allow you to stay at home and regularly attend therapy sessions that address your addiction triggers and the underlying reasons for your drinking. After your recovery program is complete, you might also attend support groups and continued therapy sessions to make sure you stay sober and don’t relapse. Recovery from alcohol abuse is a long process, one that will likely last for the rest of your life, but it can’t begin until you admit that you have a problem with alcohol and seek treatment yourself.

That is the first step in the recovery process, and it is both the most difficult and most important one. If you find that you’ve developed a problem with alcohol addiction, remember that help is always available to you. Contact us at 614-705-0611 any time of the day or night to speak to one of our staff members and learn what treatment programs are right for you.