Now that you have completed the last step of rehabilitation, you can definitely say that you are a reformed alcoholic who is ready to face the world, right? As much as we would like to tell you that you are cured of your illness, we have to say that you must follow one last step, and, unfortunately, it is one you will have to pursue for the rest of your life. For many alcoholics, one of the most terrifying aspects of recovery isn’t necessarily withdrawal (although that can be painful) but is (instead) the risk of craving and relapse. “How am I supposed to deal with these looming problems?” you may ask. “What am I supposed to do?” In part, researchers have created some shortcuts for you to follow. Let’s take a closer look at some of them now.
The Controversy of Cravings
Ultimately, “cravings” are a bit of a mixed bag that still leave researchers polarized. Some medical professionals believe these feelings are triggered by environmental stimuli (e.g. people or places that remind the drunk of their past), while others believe physiological ties to the drug may stir the attraction to booze.
However, two researchers named Ludwig and Stark determined that the most ideal way to determine the influence of cravings is simply to ask the alcoholics. As a result, they discovered these patients suffer from Pavlovian conditioning, with both internal and external stimuli playing a role in cravings.
A Recall of Euphoria
As a result of this overflow of internal and external stimuli, alcoholics will start to crave alcohol in a manner similar to hunger or thirst. In a sense, these men and women have been programmed to seek out this drug in the same manner a child will seek out a cookie. Booze has become instinctive.
How to Prevent a Relapse
According to one study, researchers discovered that feelings of anger, frustration, and stress or the act of hanging out with alcohol users can serve as factors for a relapse. To combat cravings and prevent these situations from happening, though, doctors recommend you make the following changes to your lives:
- Change your life to avoid overwhelmingly stressful or risky situations
- Identify external or internal stimuli that can serve as warning signs for a potential relapse
- Create and exercise strategies for self-control and discipline
Likewise, medical professionals also recommend drugs like Vivitrol and Naltrexone for people who have a hard time managing symptoms of alcoholism.
Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism
Hard partying and heavy alcohol consumption do not make a person popular or loved, despite what the drunken people around you may say. Remember, you are much better than the bottle you are holding and can easily regain control, if you are willing to seek out help in the right place. Above all else, love yourself, or you will not find a way to repair your mind and body. With a little patience and perseverance, you will regain your footing on the snowy path to recovery.
If you are suffering from a severe case of alcoholism or alcohol abuse or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of alcohol withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.