In a world where alcohol is widely used, and often celebrated, it can sometimes feel impossible to maintain sobriety. Even though alcohol is a legal substance, it can lead to one of the most deadly types of addictions. If you are suffering from alcohol use disorder, it is more important than ever to know how to maintain sobriety in order to have a successful recovery journey.
Alcohol Use Statistics
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 50% of people aged 12 or older used alcohol in the past month. That is equivalent to 138.5 million people, which is nearly half the U.S. population.
SAMSHA’s 2020 survey also reported that of the 138.5 million who used alcohol, 61.6 million were classified as binge drinkers while 17.7 million were classified as heavy drinkers. It is no secret that alcohol is widely used, but this usage can quickly lead to binge drinking and even addiction.
The Dangers of Alcohol Abuse
Even though alcohol use of some kind is extremely prevalent, the serious dangers associated with it might be widely unknown.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. Some of these short-term effects might include injuries, violence, alcohol poisoning, and pregnancy complications among women.
The CDC also states that alcohol can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems over time. These long-term effects may include the following:
- Liver disease
- Digestive problems
- Various cancers
- Weakened immune systems
- Learning and memory problems
- Social issues
- Alcohol use disorder and dependence
Know When to Set Boundaries
Even though you decided to make positive changes by getting help for alcohol use disorder, there might still be people in your life who choose to drink.
Healthy boundaries will help you safeguard your sobriety, and you may want to make a decision for yourself that you will not be around when there is alcohol available. You might decide to sit out gatherings where alcohol is served, and let your loved ones know that if alcohol is present, you will choose not to participate.
When you can learn how to set and enforce healthy boundaries, you will feel more empowered in the long run.
Be Honest With Loved Ones
In order to set healthy boundaries, it is important to be honest with loved ones about your alcohol addiction recovery journey. Let them know that you are in treatment or recovery, and that you choose to not be present if alcohol is available.
You might want to ask your loved ones to make sure they are not drinking when you spend time together, and let them know how important this is to your recovery.
Ask For Help
When you are in need of help, this is not a sign of weakness. In fact, learning when and how to ask for help is one of the most empowering things you can do.
Ask your loved ones to help you through your recovery journey by not consuming alcohol when you are present. You can also ask them to help you out by making sure that alcohol is not readily available in your living environment. The journey of recovery can have its ups and downs, so it is important to know what can trigger you in order to remove yourself from the situation.
Recovery Coaching and Treatment
If many people in your life drink socially, it is good to have a strong support system of sober peers and people who understand the recovery process.
Attend Meetings and Therapy Sessions
A quality outpatient treatment program will have a highly structured schedule to support you. Programs will include intensive group therapy, where you can find peer support from people who really understand what you are going through.
Clinical guidance is another vital component of any quality outpatient program. Through individual counseling, combined with psychiatric support, you will be able to talk about your struggles with trained professionals who are there to help and guide you along your journey.
Work With a Recovery Coach
A recovery coach will help you with accountability and guidance, especially when so many people around you socially drink. Use your recovery coach as a means of support when you are feeling lost, or to be there for you as a sober guide who truly understands the struggles you are going through.
Remove Yourself from the Situation
Sometimes you will need to remove yourself from certain situations when everyone you know is a social drinker, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to spend your time elsewhere. When you are able to remove yourself from the situation, this will make you feel even stronger and more confident in yourself and your sobriety.
Focus On Your Goals
If you need to sit out activities and gatherings where alcohol will be consumed, you can spend this time focusing on your goals instead.
When you train your mind to get excited about all the goals you have for your future, it will become so much easier to stay in the positive mindset necessary to achieve them.
Find Positive Activities That Light You Up
Instead of being around friends and family while they are socially drinking, you can find other activities to do instead. Make it a point to seek out healthy activities, away from the temptation and triggers from alcohol, like exercise, new hobbies, painting, or reading.
The most important thing to remember is to choose to do something that truly lights you up. This will put you in the positive and empowering mindset you need for long-lasting recovery.
When you’re in treatment or recovery for alcohol use disorder, sobriety can seem pretty difficult when everyone around you is a social drinker. With the right mindset and support system in place, long-term success and sobriety are possible. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, we offer a comprehensive treatment plan that will help you overcome your alcohol struggles and set you up for lasting sobriety. Our group programs are held in groups of no more than eight people, giving you the opportunity to have your voice truly be heard. Group therapy is also a great place to find support among peers, instead of spending time with family and friends who engage in social drinking. We also offer comprehensive clinical counseling, psychiatric care, and recovery coaching to help you stay accountable and achieve your goals. Give us a call today at (214) 396-0259.