The holidays can be particularly stressful and challenging for individuals in alcohol rehab. One alcohol rehabilitation counselor reported that some of his clients in AA expressed anxiety about how to make it through the holidays months in advance. Mark Elliot told CTV News that one of his clients expressed concern in July about how he would get through the holidays.
We live in a culture that all-too-frequently romanticizes drug and alcohol use. Ernest Hemingway’s drunken nights in Key West and Cuba are oft written about. The Beatles’, Pink Floyd, and other bands sometimes promoted the mind-altering effects of various illicit substances.
Alcoholism is defined by the Mayo Clinic under some pretty strict parameters. Individuals are said to suffer from alcoholism when they have a compulsive desire or need to drink, are unable to control the amount they drink, experience physical withdrawal when they stop drinking, ritualize drinking behavior at certain times of the day, have financial or family problems due to drinking, or lose interest in activities due to drinking behavior.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Offers New Guidelines for Patient Treatment Options
The National Institute of Health in conjunction with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism released a new resource for individuals and families suffering from alcohol use disorders.
Recovering from drugs and addiction takes time, dedication, effort, and often, a strong support network of doctors, family, and friends. Research has shown that individuals are more likely to break the cycle of addiction if they have a strong support network of friends, family, and community members who can support their sober living choice.
Last year Kelley Osbourne opened up to Cosmopolitan U.K. about her own battle with drugs, People magazine reports. Kelley Osbourne explained that she had been to rehab seven times and to two different mental institutions. She explains that her mom even had her placed in a padded cell at one point.
Making the difficult decision to combat a drug or alcohol addiction can be a difficult step in anyone’s life. The choice requires great changes and brings with it major challenges. Individuals who truly choose to overcome addiction often have to face the issues that drove them to use drugs or alcohol in the first place. This can be a painful, but also eye-opening process.
During a routine gynecological exam, Kelly McMillan’s doctor expressed concern that McMillan might have developed a dependency on Klonopin. Klonopin is used to treat anxiety. McMillan explains that she felt that her life was on track: she was 33, in love, and working her dream job. She writes for Vogue about how Klonopin helped relieve her anxiety and eliminated her self-defeating thoughts. She explains that Klonopin allowed her to get her dream job where she could travel the world, go on safaris, ski in Alaska, and even date a handsome captain from the Special Forces.
Last May, Kelly Fitzgerald decided she had had enough. She explains that she was “tired of being . . . tired,” tired of being an embarrassment to friends and loved ones, and she was tired of trying (and failing) to drink in moderation. Her solution was to quit drinking alcohol altogether. One year after quitting, she wrote a Huffington Post article describing her alcohol-free journey and what she learned.
Fitzgerald explains that the first thing she noticed was that she was able to feel emotions in a more heightened way, with increased sensitivity. She found that her sense of smell was sharpened. This change has been supported by studies that suggest that quitting alcohol can actually help improve or alleviate the symptoms of depression.
But more importantly than the physical changes, Fitzgerald noted that she could finally discover who she was. She explained that she could finally socialize with friends and family in an authentic way, without the “crutch” of alcohol. She enjoyed the feeling of waking up in the morning on the weekend, having coffee, and running. She couldn’t do these things with a hangover.
Fitzgerald was motivated to quit when she realized that she didn’t like the person she was when she drank. She also realized that she simply was not a person who could drink in moderation. Fitzgerald discovered that she had been using alcohol as a means to escape the negative things that happened to her. As a non-drinker, she found herself more prepared to face challenges head-on.
Other changes followed Fitzgerald’s choice to quit alcohol. She found a loving relationship with a supportive man. Fitzgerald also learned how to cultivate truer friendships as a result of her choice to quit alcohol. Once she decided to abstain, she learned that some of the friends she had been spending time with didn’t share her goals or life outlook. Fitzgerald learned that when she quit, it became necessary for her to eliminate certain toxic friendships from her life. She realized over time that this was a healthy decision that opened the path for her ability to develop truer friendships.
Fitzgerald learned that she could finally handle and deal with the emotions she had been trying to numb away with alcohol. Fitzgerald concludes her account by saying, “I was always that girl who needed alcohol to have fun, and now I am a testament to the fact that you don’t need it to enjoy yourself.”
Fitzgerald’s experience is echoed in so many others who have chosen to quit alcohol. Everyone’s sober living journey is different. For Fitzgerald it entailed an honest self-assessment and a choice to give up toxic habits and friendships. A recent article in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found that sober living arrangements allowed many individuals the ability to change and to develop sober living strategies. Destructive living environments where alcohol is present can hinder a person’s ability to recover.
The Program West Palm Beach offers a range of sober living options for individuals who want to quit drugs or alcohol. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and sober living arrangements.
The Centers for Disease Control defines heavy drinking by the number of drinks consumed per week. Men should not have more than 15 drinks a week while women should not have more than 8 drinks per week. The CDC defines a drink as 12 ounces of beer with 5% alcohol content, 5 ounces of wine with a 12 % alcohol content, and 1.5 ounces or a shot of hard alcohol with a 40% alcohol content. While some studies have found wine to have heart and blood pressure health benefits, in terms of the effects of alcohol on the body, having excessive amounts of any alcohol is dangerous, according to the CDC. Alcohol use poses a variety of health risks including cancer and injuries from motor vehicle accidents.