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Recovery from alcohol addiction is a long journey. There are a number of steps to take, and each one is crucial. Yet, it is sometimes stated that the 1st step is the most difficult. What’s the first thing you should do? Acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step. While this may seem trivial, denial is a significant component of addiction. In this section, we will look at the 1st step in more detail.

First Step In Addiction

To comprehend the significance of the first step, it is necessary to first recognize the 1st step in addiction. Addiction is a stage-wise process. Even if it appears that way at times, you don’t start using narcotics and develop an addiction overnight. Addiction has different stages. Denial is the first step toward recovery from addiction.

You may lie to loved ones whether or not you use drugs, how often or how much you use them, or why you use them. Denial, on the other hand, goes beyond what you tell people. You’re in denial about yourself as well. You’ll notice that you’re telling yourself and others that you’re fine. You have the option to stop at any moment. You have complete control over your usage. Because addiction promotes denial, you will overlook the negative outcomes that suggest you have a problem.

First Step In Recovery

Every step in the recovery process is a step forward, and each step forward is something to be proud of. It’s unlikely that you’ll go from denial to embrace in one step. Rather, you’ll start to realize how addiction is harming your life over time. Some people are shaken out of their denial by a significant life experience with far-reaching implications. An arrest, the loss of a relationship with a loved one, being sacked, or interference can all rapidly shake you out of your denial.

For the most part, though, it is a progressive process. You’ll experience random ideas that suggest you may have a problem. Perhaps if you seek therapy and recovery, your life will improve. When you try to stop or limit your addiction on your own, you may find that you are unable to do so. Complaints from friends and family, as well as unstable relations, may be apparent. You’re well aware that healing isn’t something you can accomplish on your own.

From Recognition to Acceptance

You may find yourself going back and forth in your head at first. You might try to downplay the severity of your problem. You may feel guilty or ashamed about your addiction. Keep in mind that addiction can strike anyone at any time. It makes no distinctions depending on a person’s willpower, economic standing, or ethnicity. Addiction does not imply that you are a failure or a bad person. This is a challenging aspect of the rehabilitation process for many people, but you don’t have to go through it alone.

t takes time, commitment, motivation, and assistance to recover from alcohol addiction. When you opt to enter a comprehensive alcohol treatment program, you will embark on a four-stage rehab recovery journey in which you will learn to live a healthy and sober lifestyle.

The following are the 4 stages of treatment:

  • Initiation of Treatment
  • Early abstinence
  • Adherence to abstinence
  • Advanced recovery

The National Institute on Drug Abuse created these stages as a reference for healthcare providers on individual drug therapy, but they can also be used to help people recover from alcohol addiction. Recovery is a lifelong process in this concept.

Stage 1: The Initiation of Treatment

You begin the first step of your recovery, treatment initiation when you seek help from a competent alcohol rehab program.

Your rehabilitation will begin with a specialist treatment program, whether you seek assistance willingly or are compelled to do so due to circumstances.

You may have conflicting views about permanently giving up your drug of choice in the early hours and days of your recovery, and you may believe that your substance abuse problem is not as terrible as others’. This mentality should be avoided. In the early stages of recovery, ambivalence and denial might be your toughest enemies.

The goal at this stage of treatment is to assist the individual in making the decision to participate actively in treatment and understand that abstinence is the ultimate goal.

An alcohol abuse counselor may be able to assist the individual in completing the following tasks:

  • Take a look at the negative consequences of addiction.
  • Examine your thoughts of denial about your addiction problems.
  • Encourage the individual to be motivated to recover.

A person’s alcohol use history will be taken during this stage of therapy, the treatment program will be explained, and the counselor will work with the individual to establish an individualized treatment plan.

Stage 2: Early Abstinence

You will begin the 2nd stage of rehab, known as early abstinence, once you have committed to undergo treatment for your substance abuse disorder. Early abstinence from alcohol for a long period of time is linked to better treatment outcomes.  This can be the most difficult stage to deal with due to a variety of issues, including:

  • Persistent Withdrawal symptoms
  • Physical compulsions or cravings for alcohol
  • Physiological and psychological dependence
  • Triggers that could lead to a relapse

Cravings, group pressure to drink, and high-risk circumstances that can induce alcohol use are all challenges at this point of therapy. Your skilled addiction therapist will teach, motivate and inspire you to adopt effective coping skills you’ll need to live a sober lifestyle throughout this early abstinence stage. You will benefit from the techniques you learn today throughout your rehabilitation.

Knowing about the psychological and physical components of withdrawal, identifying alcohol usage triggers, and dealing with alcohol urges without drinking are all early abstinence concerns that are addressed at this phase of therapy.

Among the techniques that can be beneficial are:

  • Encouraging people to engage in healthy activities
  • Instead of turning to drink, find other ways to engage yourself.
  • Participating in support and educational self-help groups
  • Recognizing craving-inducing environmental cues, such as people, things, and places

Stage 3: Adherence To Abstinence

You will progress from the early abstinence stage of recovery to the 3rd stage, sustaining abstinence, after nearly 90 days of consistent abstinence. If you began your recovery program in a residential setting, you will now transition to an outpatient ongoing treatment or follow-up counseling stage.

One of the key goals of this stage of recovery is to keep abstinence by preventing relapse. You’ll learn the warning signals of relapse as well as the steps that can lead to one.

You will also learn to apply the techniques you were taught in early abstinence to other aspects of your life during this stage of your recovery so that you can maintain a sober lifestyle. You’ll find that your prospective quality of life is determined by more than just avoiding alcohol consumption.

You’ll discover new coping strategies and tools to assist you, including:

  • Substitutes for addictions should be avoided.
  • Build strong bonds with others.
  • Adopt a drug-free way of living.
  • Learn how to find work and manage your money.
  • Control your rage.
  • Make use of fitness exercises and a nutritious diet.

The continuing abstinence stage of recovery will begin around 3 months into your program and will last until you have been clean and sober for around 5 years, at which point the follow-up counseling will normally end.

Stage 4: Advanced Recovery

After about 5 years of sobriety, you’ll be ready to go on to the 4th and last stage of your rehabilitation: advanced recovery. It’s at this stage that you put all of the skills and tools you’ve learned during rehab therapy to work in order to live a happy, rewarding life.

At this time, the following strategies may be useful:

  • Setting long-term objectives
  • Constantly setting up a daily timetable
  • Developing social interactions with those who do not drink
  • Participating in non-alcohol-related recreational activities

Whether through religion, spirituality, community service, or social engagement, finding ways to go beyond oneself in order to find happiness and fulfillment.

These tactics will not only help you stay sober, but they will also teach you how to be a healthy person, an improved parent and spouse, an useful member of society, and a decent neighbor and citizen. Staying sober is only one aspect of recovery. It’s about figuring out how to live a better, healthier life.

  • According to one report, about 36 percent of those suffering from alcoholism recover after a year.
  • After a year, about 18 percent of recovered alcoholics had reached low-risk drinking.
  • One year later, about 18 percent of recovering alcoholics were able to stop drinking altogether.
  • People who have had a serious or lifelong alcohol addiction have a recovery rate below 36 percent.
  • Around 60 percent of people who have been sober for 2 years after AUD stay that way.
  • Former alcoholics who have been sober for 5 years or more are more likely to stay sober.
  • Approximately 12 percent of Native Americans have a drinking problem.

As previously said, more than one-third of alcoholics overcome addiction completely within the 1st year, according to a study. So, when it comes to how many alcoholics recover, the figure is 36 percent. As recovering, alcoholics continue sobriety or a modest level of drinking, this percentage rises.

Men and women have varied definitions of moderate drinking. On any given day, women should limit themselves to 3 drinks. It’s 4 for guys. Women should drink no more than seven times per week. Men, on the other hand, should limit themselves to fourteen drinks each week. It could be a problem if anyone, irrespective of gender, finds oneself drinking every day.

Relapse After a Successful Recovery

It’s true that recovering from alcohol addiction isn’t easy. These figures come from studies in which former alcoholics and recovering alcoholics were treated. It’s much easy to relapse if you don’t get help. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 90 percent of alcoholics relapse at least once after 4 years of treatment. Furthermore, when followed for at least 3 months, aftercare programs can help patients stay sober.

For other addictive chemicals, such as nicotine and heroin, the facts are identical. In the alcoholism cycle, relapse is a common element of recovery. Internal and external cues, according to several research studies, are both responsible for this. That isn’t to say that treatment isn’t effective; it simply means that it needs to be tweaked.

While you may have consciously moved on from drinking alcohol, the flavor and yearning for its impacts may resurface from time to time. Is it true that the cravings will go away after 2 years of post-acute alcohol withdrawal? Certainly not.

The intensity of the cravings will reduce over time, although for some people, it will take many years for them to go away altogether. Others may never entirely recover from their urges, but ideally, they learned relapse-prevention strategies in recovery to help them cope with these crises.

The urges eventually stop – if they ever do – it all comes down to the individual. The longer the urges last, the more intense the addiction. Also, it doesn’t help if you’re in recovery and live in a house where alcohol is present, or if the majority of your circle of acquaintances often drinks in your company.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the question of how long the recovery process will take. It depends on a number of factors, including:

  • In what quantity was alcohol consumed?
  • How long has the individual been drinking?
  • How often has the person consumed alcohol on a regular basis?
  • Nutritional Status
  • Age and weight
  • Whether or not there was a mix of alcohol and other substances
  • If the individual has any other co-existing mental health issues, such as eating disorders or depression.
  • Further physical health issues



The Balance RehabClinic is a leading provider of luxury addiction and mental health treatment for affluent individuals and their families, offering a blend of innovative science and holistic methods with unparalleled individualised care.


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