Many recovering alcoholics find it helpful to know what will happen when they stop drinking before they actually quit. It can be intimidating and discouraging to think about life without alcohol, but as long as you know what to expect, you’ll be better equipped to handle the challenges that come with living sober. Keep reading to find out the challenges an alcoholic may face when they quit drinking.
Three Stages Of The Alcohol Recovery Process
It’s important to understand that recovery isn’t a one-time event for an alcoholic. Instead, recovery occurs in three stages: detoxification, rehabilitation and recovery. The first stage of recovery is detoxification – a process that usually takes from three to ten days under medical supervision. This is when withdrawal symptoms are addressed as physical dependence on alcohol comes to an end. It is also during detoxification that some addicts begin experiencing recovering brain syndrome – a period of time when they crave alcohol but know it isn’t good for them anymore.
An alcoholic will need to break the physical addiction with detox and the psychological and emotional addictions with an alcohol rehab programme.
1) What is a Physical Addiction to Alcohol
Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is a disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use that persists even when it negatively impacts someone’s personal relationships and health. This physical addiction to alcohol is defined by strong physiological cravings for the substance; these cravings can be so intense that people who are trying to quit report experiencing painful withdrawal symptoms like nausea, sweating, tremors and increased anxiety.
2) What is a Psychological Dependence to Alcohol
Psychological alcohol dependence is where an alcoholic continues to drink alcohol as they are in the habit of doing so, and they believe they need it. They will drink more than intended, be unable to cut down on drinking, give up activities because of drinking, spend a lot of time getting alcohol, thinking about drinking and having problems with relationships because of drinking. They will continue to drink even when they realise these issues are being caused by alcohol.
3) Emotional Dependence to Alcohol
Emotional dependence on alcohol is defined as a psychological need for alcohol. In other words, if you have an emotional dependence on alcohol, then you will experience uncomfortable feelings such as irritability and anxiety if you stop drinking. While physical dependence doesn’t always lead to an addiction, it can be an indication that someone is at risk of developing one.
Addiction is a disease that wreaks havoc on an addict’s body, mind, and spirit. While sobriety can seem like a long way off when you’re in your darkest moment, there are many health benefits to giving up alcohol altogether. Luckily, support groups and rehab facilities help alcoholics conquer their addiction every day. So if you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism, consider contacting Alcoholics Anonymous today to start on a path to sobriety.