Here is a crash course guide in alcoholism help. If you are struggling with a drinking problem or you know someone who is, then give these ideas a try and see if they can’t help you out.
If moderation works for you then that is great. Chances are you are not a true alcoholic if you can figure out how to successfully moderate your drinking. For the rest of us drunks our disease is defined by our inability to control our intake.
Now this can become especially tricky because most alcoholics actually can control their level of consumption for a certain period of time. Some alcoholics can even control their drinking for several months or even years at a time. However, note the following two things: One, they will not enjoy the drinking while they are “controlling” it, and will do so only through gritted teeth while being terribly discontent. And two, no alcoholic can maintain this control forever; eventually they will go off the deep end and go on a bender.
So basically, you can attempt moderation in your drinking and if you find success with it then that is good for you. But be honest with yourself and if you slip up or end up drinking way more than you wanted to then own up to it and realize that you have lost control. Saying that you can control it “when you really want to” is probably denial at that point, and you need to realize that most “normal people” (meaning non-alcoholics) are pretty much always controlling their drinking by default. In other words, normal drinkers don’t have to struggle to control their intake. If you do, then this might be a serious red flag for you.
If you finally make the decision to do something about your drinking other than simply trying to moderate it, then the time has come to quit altogether. Now this might sound like a death sentence at first but it really is not so bad once you get past the initial detox and start living a real life again.
Please note that the physical detoxification from alcohol is extremely dangerous and can actually be fatal, so do seek out medical supervision if you are serious about quitting drinking. It is actually safer to continue drinking alcohol than to go through a serious withdrawal from it because the withdrawal can produce life threatening seizures.
If you do decide to give abstinence a try then one of the best breaks you can give yourself is to find a local treatment center to check into. There are a number of benefits to seeking treatment:
1) Medically supervised detox
2) Residential program – to learn about recovery
3) Peer support – you’re with other recovering alcoholics so you can draw support from this group
4) Professional help – therapists and counselors can give you guidance
6) Aftercare – they can set you up with long term support and programs that can help sustain you on the outside.
So do consider treatment if you are thinking about quitting drinking.
Remember if you are not sure about the whole thing to go try some more moderation. There is nothing wrong with this if you are careful about it. But be honest with yourself about how well the moderation strategy is working for you. If you can control your drinking for a week that is no real victory. If you can control it for a year then that is real progress. But understand that nearly anyone who is wrestling with this question will not be able to control it for a full year and should probably take a serious look at quitting altogether.
There is much more to be learned on the path to recovery and if you’re serious about quitting drinking then I invite you to learn more as the benefits to quitting are tremendous.