Reasons to Stay Sober in Difficult Times
What are the 6 Reasons That Make Staying Sober Difficult?
Research indicates that nearly 15 million people are coping with alcohol abuse disorder in the United States. What are some of the reasons that make staying sober difficult?
Furthermore, since alcohol use is commonly glamorized in popular culture and can be found at various social and even work-related functions, it can be challenging for those who are quitting alcohol to find support.
But, Resurgence Behavioral Health can help you maintain your commitment to sobriety, restore your health, and improve your peace of mind.
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Understanding Why it is Hard to Stay Sober
Alcohol is the single most widely abused substance in the United States.
According to research conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 6.8 percent of the population was dependent on alcohol in 2012.
Given its popularity, some have argued that there is more stigma in quitting alcohol than abusing it.
However, the benefits of sobriety are real, and quitting alcohol can reshape your health, finances, and relationships – giving you a new lease on life.
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Effects of Why Staying Sober is Hard and the 6 Main Reasons
Getting sober and staying alcohol-free are tremendous accomplishments, and there are many reasons why this is such a significant victory.
Below are six reasons why it can be hard to maintain sobriety:
With so many individuals using alcohol, the pressure to drink can feel insurmountable.
This can be made worse by the fact that friends who themselves struggle with alcohol but are not yet willing to seek help may push you to drink again.
Though it can be painful to do, you may need to distance yourself from those who are unwilling to spend time with you sober to protect your long term physical and emotional health. This is one of the many reasons to stay sober during difficult times.
Research suggests that 40%-65% of alcoholism is genetic – meaning that for some individuals, moderate exposure to alcohol can quickly develop into a problem.
However, lack of awareness of this genetic propensity can lead to stigma in those who begin to develop an alcohol addiction, with non-addicted friends and coworkers assuming that addiction is a lack of self-control.
This misunderstanding only increases the shame felt by those who begin to struggle, leading to a tendency to hide addictive behaviors and refuse the help they need.
Severe trauma and adversity in childhood, ranging from abuse and neglect to extreme poverty and fear-inducing experiences, are precursors to alcohol abuse.
Part of the relationship between this trauma and alcohol abuse stems from environmental factors, such as the continuation of unhappy family circumstances, and other mental health issues, such as anxiety and isolation, which also coincide with childhood adversity.
The combination of lingering psychological effects, and ongoing financial or familial strain, can create a “perfect storm” for alcohol and substance abuse.
Grief and substance abuse can form a painful cycle of depression and addiction that requires professional treatment to resolve.
A complex emotional experience and the journey through grief may last a lifetime.
While it is most commonly associated with a loved one’s death, grief can result from a variety of personal losses or life transitions, including the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, the death of a pet, betrayal, abuse, or other life experiences.
Since grief can lead to depression, isolation, hopelessness, and physical pain, alcohol may seem like an escape. However, alcohol only serves to worsen the underlying sadness and damage existing relationships, making it harder to recover from grief and the addiction.
Though many people will struggle with alcohol abuse throughout their lives, there can still be a stigma associated with entering recovery programs.
Some of this stigma stems from the mistaken belief that alcohol addiction is a matter of will power and that those who are addicted should simply quit “cold turkey.”
While those with minor issues with alcohol may be able to quit drinking without help, those with a genetic propensity or who have developed an addiction are not generally able to quit alone. Given the potential severity of withdrawal, quitting without treatment can be dangerous.
Alcoholism is a disease and requires effective treatment to manage its symptoms and the underlying cause.
For most individuals struggling with alcohol addiction, attempts to quit cold turkey can lead to physical and psychological agony and eventual relapse.
Furthermore, alcohol withdrawal is a serious condition that can lead to severe anxiety, insomnia, sweating, muscle tremors, aches, pains, vomiting, and medical complications, such as seizures, heart attack, and coma.
Because the pain and discomfort can be so extreme, many individuals who attempt detoxification without medical assistance will relapse due to a lack of support.
But with professional treatment, it is possible to make a full recovery from alcohol abuse.
Mental Illness and Staying Sober
One of the greatest barriers to drug and alcohol abuse recovery is the role of mental illness. This is because mental illness can both cause, and result from substance abuse.
Substance use can have a significant consequence for brain chemistry, and for those who are predisposed to addiction, these chemical changes can happen faster and more dramatically.
Alcohol is a depressant drug, and though it can trigger a short-term release in dopamine, the body’s happiness chemical reduces cognitive function.
When used in small amounts, the depressive effects are not dramatic. But for those who struggle with abuse, alcohol’s impact on brain chemistry can result in depression, anger, mood changes, isolation, and even suicidal thoughts.
These negative emotions can impair relationships and increase the desire to numb emotional pain through alcohol, furthering the cyclical effect of mental health issues and alcohol.
But the cycle can be broken.
With professional treatment that addresses both the physical and psychological impact of alcohol abuse, those struggling with addiction can achieve and maintain the sobriety they seek.
This is another one of the major reasons to stay sober during difficult times.
Treatment for Quitting Alcohol
For those addicted to alcohol, the first step in the treatment program will likely be medical detoxification. Detox helps with removing alcohol from the body, helping to free you from physical and emotional discomfort that can provide barriers to your success.
Depending on the nature and severity of the addiction, the detox process may last anywhere from a few days to weeks. You may be given medications to help ease the burden of withdrawal symptoms.
You will be continually supervised throughout this process to protect your health and safety.
Once detox is complete, your body will be free from alcohol and ready to begin physical and psychological healing.
During alcohol recovery, you will learn to develop healthy coping skills, and you will be assisted in addressing underlying issues that could impair your progress.
Most treatment centers will offer a variety of programs and therapies to help you find the options that work best for you. These often include:
- One to One Counseling
- Family/Relationship Counseling
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Inpatient Alcohol Rehabilitation
- 12-Step Programs
- Nutrition Therapy
- Non-12-Step addiction programs
- Long-term Rehabilitation Arrangements
You will also work with a caring team to develop a treatment plan for your recovery, which will include meaningful strategies to help you replace unhealthy thoughts and behaviors while affirming alternatives.
Though it may seem overwhelming, it is possible to achieve sobriety and live a happy, alcohol-free life. There are many reasons to stay sober in difficult times, and with the right resources and support systems, you can start your path to recovery.
And Resurgence Behavioral Health can help you get there.
Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it?
We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification.
We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment in a way that works for you and your financial situation.
Find Out How to Stay Sober in Difficult Times
How to Get Help
Imagine walking into a supportive, judgment-free space, and connecting with those who can understand your experience.
At Resurgence Behavioral Health, you will feel at home from the moment you walk through the doors.
In choosing sobriety, you are undertaking one of the most important, and fulfilling, decisions in your life – and you will not undertake it alone.
We can assist with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to treat underlying thought patterns, prescriptions, and counseling to help with depression, group therapies to help you build connections, and many more strategies to help you achieve the recovery you deserve.
Call Resurgence Behavioral Health at 855-458-0050 today and say “yes” to recovery.