When an alcoholic decides to seek help and attend rehab, they’re likely thinking of the immediate future, meaning getting sober and beginning to live a healthy lifestyle. People may not always realize right away that the point of recovery is to teach them how to live without alcohol—for the rest of their lives. True alcoholics should never drink again, because alcohol triggers cravings when consumed. They probably won’t be able to manage “moderate drinking” without going down a bad path, so abstinence is the recommended approach for long-term sobriety.
Can a recovering alcoholic ever drink again?
Alcoholics often begin drinking again because they either believe they don’t have a problem at all, or they think their problem is solved after becoming sober for a while. The problem with this is they probably won’t be able to just have a few drinks. They may even know deep down they won’t be able to handle cravings once they start drinking. Even one drop of alcohol can trigger old patterns of use that are hard to resist.
It’s tough for the brain to reprogram its way to thinking when it comes to alcohol. It will tend to associate positive memories with alcohol, like fun times had with friends rather than negative consequences that have come from the drinking problem. Certain groups refer to this as “stinking thinking.” In other words, alcoholics will think up a number of reasons why they could drink again and be fine, but they won’t acknowledge any of the negative things that can—and probably will happen.
It is important for recovering alcoholics to always remember why they sought help in the first place. There was a reason, if not multiple, why they knew they needed to stop drinking, and they took it seriously then. Staying motivated, and being honest about the addiction and both positive and negative things that have come from it will help them stay grounded. Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous are a great way to continue managing cravings and frustrations as well as confiding in a support system.
Recovering alcoholics should focus on finding new hobbies or picking up old ones that were ignored due to the addiction. Remaining positive and looking for ways to feel fulfilled that don’t include alcohol is crucial to sobriety. It is also important they don’t allow boredom to creep in, as it can lead to other triggers that bring about relapses.
Dealing with alcoholism is difficult. For help, contact Treatment Now’s staff of recovery experts who are available to answer any questions. Call today at 844-438-8689.