Rivulets of sweat ran down her face, as she started feeling the agony and distress. The horrible panic attack had started, yet again. Gasping for breath, she staggered to the dining room and headed straight for the bar, where she made a large drink for herself. Holding a whiskey glass in her trembling hands, she gulped it down in one go and reached out to make another. She needed the alcohol to keep her going. It was the only quick remedy she could think of to heal her tormented soul.
What began as a social habit during her early years with a few glasses of wine at family get-togethers, progressively assumed the form of a mighty coping mechanism. Subsequently, indulging in almost a decade of after-office tippling during weekdays and liquor-filled weekend shindigs in the hip and happening nightclub and pubs of Southern California, convinced her that alcohol was the magical potion to drown one’s pains. The trauma of witnessing her parents’ divorce at a tender age, followed by hardships at work, heartaches, financial struggles and a failed marriage, drove the 29-year-old Wendy Wallace (name changed) of Anaheim, Orange County to drinking. But sadly, the light-headed effect would last only a while, and then, she would need just another glass of the deadly amber liquid to calm her nerves, all over again.
Unfortunately, this is the case with many people, who like Wendy, start experimenting with alcohol at a young age and end up grappling with an addiction. Nowadays, drinking seems to be the ready solution for all sorrows, pain, problems and stress. With the large-scale acceptance of alcohol in the American social circles, a drink to douse life’s agonies is the most effective anti-depressant available at a moment’s notice. Whether it’s evading a crisis or dealing with a failed marriage or simply another reason to rejoice, everything seems to revolve around alcohol. In fact, it is an astounding fact that nationwide alcohol-related deaths claim more lives than all intoxicants combined. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 15.1 million adults aged 18 years and older struggled with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the U.S.
Moreover, what seems strange is that while legislators, on the one hand, are raising pertinent questions about the legalization of cannabis, on the other, do not seem to even bat an eyelid when it comes to acknowledging the dangers of alcohol to the society. In reality, alcohol enjoys a far greater social acceptance in the American society today. Increasing numbers of Americans are being enticed by the immensely tantalizing aura of sophistication surrounding alcohol. Irresistible tailor-made cocktails for every occasion, and seductive spirits to enhance one’s self-worth have come to rule the roost across communities. Importantly, what begins as a small drink, over time, leads to the uncontrollable urge to indulge in binge drinking, eventually culminating in full-blown alcoholism. At such a juncture, the only solution is to nip the problem in the bud, i.e., silencing alcohol cravings by reversing alcohol dependency.
How to say ‘no’ to the next drink?
Researchers have put in meticulous efforts to reveal the causes behind the uncontrollable urge to drink and ways to weaken such an urge. According to the findings compiled in “The Journal of Neuroscience,” neurons play a major role in inducing alcohol cravings. Roughly 5 percent of the total number of neurons located in the medial temporal lobe within the grey matter are associated with the experiencing of emotions. Research shows that regular intake of alcohol activates this subset of neurons, triggering pleasurable sensations. Over time, the individual feels the urge to experience such sensations repeatedly and falls into the trap of addiction. The only long-term solution to silencing alcohol cravings is to deactivate these neurons associated with alcohol and this is how one can do it.
- Learning to recognize what triggers alcohol cravings: Places, schedules, lifestyle, or particular occasions, which induce alcohol cravings, must be avoided at any cost.
- Staying informed: A repository of information on the causes of alcoholism, symptoms of addiction, resulting mental and physical health hazards, treatment options, and recovery management help is available online. One must get acquainted with this information.
- Avoiding booze buddies: Strong peer pressure might cause an ex-alcoholic or someone striving to be sober to drink again. Such unproductive company must be identified and steered clear of.
- Soul searching: Assessing one’s vulnerability to alcohol is an important prerequisite to break free. Victims of a traumatic past ridden with low self-esteem are highly vulnerable to alcohol addiction.
- Creating a support network: Seeking advice from a network of professional counselors, non-judgmental friends or even supportive work colleagues can help combat alcohol cravings effectively.
- Identifying new pastimes: As the old saying goes “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop,” idle time should be proactively used to explore new constructive hobbies to keep one’s mind occupied.
Alcohol addiction can be treated
Addiction to alcohol can plunge an individual deep into the abyss of despair and despondency. Further, to make matters worse, the affliction feeds on itself hindering the possibility of any breakthrough. Though there are some who may have attempted to break free, recurring relapses often brings them back to the next drink. Nevertheless, all it needs is a gigantic leap of faith to embrace sobriety, something which people with an addiction to alcohol are very reluctant to take. The safest and most effective way to break free from the fetters of alcohol is to undergo a specialized alcohol detox program at a professional alcohol recovery center to combat the life-wrecking effects of the drink.
Sovereign Health understands the plight of someone who is unable to discontinue the use of alcohol despite the negative impact on his or her life. Our customized alcohol addiction treatment programs at Sovereign Health of San Clemente are designed to treat the person holistically. If you or your loved one is battling addiction to alcohol, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online to know about the most effective alcoholism treatment program at our state-of-the-art rehabs. Remember, however great the alcohol cravings may be, inpatient treatment at a specialized rehabilitation center will go a long way in ensuring smooth recovery and a desire to stay sober.