How to Detox From Alcohol at Home

Alcohol addiction, or alcoholism, can significantly impact your life and affect your physical health, relationships, and work. According to the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, almost fifteen million people had an alcohol use disorder in 2019.

Quitting alcohol has numerous health benefits, and in some cases, it is a life-saving decision. The first stage in the recovery process is usually alcohol detoxification or detox. Detox involves removing alcohol and its harmful traces from your body, paving the way for effective addiction treatment and a sober life ahead.

Detoxing from alcohol unsupervised can be extremely dangerous, so you must seek appropriate medical support. However, it may be suitable for you to detox from alcohol at home with the guidance of doctors and other medical professionals. This blog offers advice on whether you can safely detox from alcohol at home and some tips to get you to the other side.

Is It Safe for Me To Detox at Home?

Detoxing from alcohol can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Severe alcohol withdrawal can involve withdrawal symptoms called delirium tremens (DTs), which can cause death without proper medical treatment.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), alcohol detox usually requires twenty-four-hour medical supervision. However, if you have a less severe form of addiction, you may be able to detox from alcohol at home as long as you have access to medical support.

Before starting any detox program, it is essential to seek medical guidance to ensure you detox safely. Professional medics treat every case individually, but they may consider:

What Are Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms greatly vary from person to person. This is because your medical history, drinking habits, biology, and physical and mental health affect the withdrawal process. Withdrawal symptoms can range from minor symptoms to severe symptoms, and they can be physical and mental.

Minor withdrawal symptoms include:

DTs, which may be fatal without proper medical support, are one of the most severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Physical symptoms of DTs include:

Because of the risk of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, you must undergo alcohol detox with professional medical support in an inpatient or outpatient setting.

What Is Outpatient Detox?

If you attend an outpatient treatment program, you remain at home and engage in parts of daily life as you detox from alcohol. It involves visiting an alcohol rehab center or another qualified healthcare provider for regular check-ups, professional treatment advice, and prescription medicines.

Outpatient detox programs, also known as community detox, allow you to balance your work and home responsibilities while ensuring your safety through the withdrawal process. Licensed medical professionals will design a safe detox plan and provide treatment or move you to inpatient facilities if you are experiencing severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Outpatient programs are much cheaper than inpatient detox programs and are usually covered by insurance providers.

What Is Inpatient Detox?

Many people struggling with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) need to attend an inpatient detox program to detox safely. An inpatient medical detox involves a residential stay at an alcohol addiction treatment center under the twenty-four-hour supervision of medical professionals. During this time, doctors and nurses are by your side to safely manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms and help make the detox process as comfortable as possible.

Can I Go Cold Turkey?

No, you should never try quitting cold turkey. If you suddenly stop drinking, you put yourself at risk of potentially life-threatening medical complications such as DTs, seizures, and Wernicke's Encephalopathy.

Safely detoxing from alcohol requires gradually tapering off usage. Doing so involves knowing how many units of alcohol you usually drink. You may want to keep a drinking diary for over a week to track your alcohol consumption accurately.

When you are ready to detox from alcohol, a medical professional should provide you with a detox plan tailored to your circumstances. A common rule is to decrease consumption by 10% every day. So, if you usually drink twenty units a day, you could start by drinking eighteen. When you are drinking less than ten units a day, you may be able to stop drinking altogether.

What Are Some Tips for Getting Through Alcohol Detox?

Reach Out to Your Support System

Detox from alcohol abuse can be challenging, and you shouldn't be ashamed to ask for help. Your friends, family, and other loved ones can provide you with emotional support and encouragement to get you through.

Try Mixing or Alternating Your Drinks

You can try adding water or a mixer to your drinks to reduce their strength if you're trying to taper down at the start. You can also alternate drinking beverages containing alcohol with those free from alcohol.

Eat a Balanced and Nutritious Diet

Eating a healthy diet has numerous benefits for your physical and mental health. Your gut is your ‘second brain,’ and a nutritious diet can help give you the energy and positive mindset to get through the challenges of detox. It can also help you recover from the physical impact of alcohol dependence. In particular, brown rice and wholemeal bread provide vitamin B1 (thiamine) to combat thiamine deficiency and help prevent Wernicke Encephalopathy, an acute disorder involving confusion, ataxia, and ophthalmoplegia.

Stay Hydrated

Make sure you stay hydrated with plenty of water, especially if you experience vomiting or diarrhea. Avoid coffee and energy drinks as these can dehydrate you and cause or exacerbate insomnia.

Stay Physically Active

While it may be difficult to summon the energy to exercise during alcohol withdrawal, staying physically active can help get you through. Light exercise such as walking or yoga can boost your mood, helping you remain resilient and committed. It can also act as a usual distraction when you experience alcohol cravings or an unwanted desire to drink.

What Comes Next?

Alcohol detox is usually only the first part of substance abuse treatment. Long-term recovery from AUD involves identifying the underlying causes of addiction or substance abuse and developing the skills to overcome them. It requires personal growth, coping mechanisms, and re-discovering how to engage in sober life.

Effective addiction treatment programs usually offer a range of treatment options tailored to your unique needs. Treatment options may include:

Whether you detox at home with medical support or in an alcohol rehab center, alcohol detox is a life-changing experience. While it can be challenging, it paves the way for long-term treatment and a fulfilling sober life ahead.

The Transformative Power of Altruism in Recovery

Have you ever helped someone and found yourself feeling a little happier than before? It’s a scientifically proven fact - helping others makes us feel good too.

You might not think so, but small acts of kindness, also known as altruism, can help you in your recovery journey. Find out how here.

What Is Altruism?

Simply put, altruism is all about putting others first and acting selflessly. It could be as simple as giving a gift without any expectations or helping someone out with a chore.

The Power of Giving Back in Recovery

Substance abuse leaves a long-lasting impact. Even once you’re in recovery, you’ll have to face up to past mistakes and understand how your actions have hurt others. You’ll also need to learn to forgive yourself.

Aside from the emotional and mental effects of drug abuse, you can expect to encounter withdrawal symptoms in rehab. All these factors can sometimes make it difficult to focus on getting better, let alone helping others. However, as noted above, altruism is a powerful tool in recovery.

Why, you ask? We explain below.

Improves Mental Health

Helping others helps us. Whenever you make someone else feel good, your brain instantly releases endorphins that give you that pleasurable feeling.

A decades-long study conducted by Maria Pagano proved that altruism positively impacts mental health, indicating that it increases feelings of wellbeing and reduces stress among individuals. After all, when you’re feeling good, you’re more likely to stick to sobriety and avoid relapse.

It’s also worth remembering that helping others is a form of social interaction. In addition to boosting your happiness, you’ll also be building a support network that you can make use of both inside and outside of rehab.

Provides a Sense of Purpose and Accomplishment

Helping others offers a sense of accomplishment. Although you may have many goals to achieve during your recovery, simple acts of kindness are easy to achieve. They will also help give you a purpose.

Overcoming addiction can seem frightening. After all, it was your life. When you’re suddenly stripped of the one thing that was important to you, you might start to feel like you lack a sense of direction. Helping those around you will help you see the power of recovery through others, making it easier to stick to your goals.

Sets the Stage for the ‘New You’

During active addiction, you’re a different person. Things that once interested you no longer do, and you might have pushed family and friends away in a bid to hide your addiction from them. Now that you’re in recovery, you’ll probably want to rebuild yourself and the image you created throughout the height of your addiction.

By helping others and putting them before yourself, you will be able to set the stage for the new you. Not only will this give you a renewed purpose, but it will be visible proof to others that you’re making positive changes.

Practicing altruism in recovery

Now that you understand what altruism is and its benefits, you may find yourself wondering how you can practice it throughout your recovery.

There are several different ways to practice altruism in recovery, and we have shared a few suitable options below.

Attend the Twelve-Step Program

It’s easy enough to give a gift to a stranger or lend them a helping hand, but what happens when it comes to already established relationships? Practicing altruism, especially if the relationship is strained, can be difficult.

Going through the twelve-step program will push you to recognize your mistakes and make amends with those you have hurt. You might not think so, but making peace is a form of altruism. This is because you’re offering an olive branch to someone without any expectation. Because they could ignore you or reject you, it’s a selfless act.

In addition to having the opportunity to make amends, attending a twelve-step program group will enable you to connect with others on a similar journey. In doing so, you can build a support network.

Since much of the twelve-step program is group-based, you’ll be provided with the perfect setting to practice altruism. As well as giving you space to be more generous with others, the twelve steps will also help you stick to sobriety. You won’t just be learning how to give up your addiction; you’ll also be learning how to accept yourself and start developing healthier habits.

A 2019 study proved this point, indicating that individuals who participate in the twelve-step program enjoy an overall better quality of life than those who don’t.

Be Open to Listening to Others

Rehab provides the perfect opportunity to listen to others. As well as attending group therapy, you could make an active effort to forge friendships with others. Instead of just focusing on your own problems, give others a chance to open up. You don’t even need to offer advice - listening is just as effective.

Volunteer Your Services

It’s a no-brainer, but volunteering is a great way of putting altruism into action. Just because you’re in rehab or recovery doesn’t mean you have to focus your efforts there. Pick something you’re passionate about and get involved in the cause.

For example, if you love animals, you might enjoy helping out at a local animal shelter or horse ranch. Not only will the act of altruism give you a boost of happiness, but you’ll also be doing something you love.

To Conclude

The road to sobriety isn’t always easy, and sometimes you’ll face challenges. However, getting out of your bubble and putting your attention on others is a great way of focusing your mind on something other than your problems. It will also make it easier to forge friendships and lay the right foundations to begin your new sober life.

Does Being Sober Mean You Can’t Party Again?

Recovery usually involves making adjustments in your lifestyle to avoid relapse triggers.   But does being sober mean you can’t party again? There’s no need to withdraw from socializing and miss out on fun events such as seeing friends or going to special events. With a little planning and preparation, you can go out, have fun, and still stay sober.

Here are some tips for when you decide you are ready to party again:

Stick With Supportive Friends

When you were using, you may have done so in a group of people who had their own substance abuse issues. Spending time with old friends, especially in a party setting, could cause you to reminisce and romanticize your days of addiction. This will leave you in a vulnerable position. You could even be encouraged to relapse by people who are not on the same recovery journey as you.

If you decide to socialize in a party setting, stick with friends who understand your need to stay sober and who will support you to make good choices. Your friends can get help and give advice on how best to help you.

It is a good idea to have a friend at hand who will take care of alcohol-related issues without a fuss. For example, if you are offered an alcoholic drink by a well-meaning person, a friend can jump in and offer to get you an alcohol-free drink instead, or tell them that you don’t drink without you having to answer any follow-up questions.

A friend might decide to opt-out of drinking alcohol alongside you, but you cannot assume or expect this. You must accept that you will be around alcohol in these settings. But there are ways to feel less left out.

Bring Your Own Alcohol-Free Drink

There will likely be alcohol-free drink options at parties and events. But just in case there isn’t, it is a good idea to bring along a drink of your choice. Ensuring you have something delicious at hand will stop you from feeling left out and tempted to stray from your sobriety. You could bring soda, juice, iced tea, or mocktails. Ask for a glass with ice and a slice of lemon, and pour your own drink that fits right in with everyone else's. Carrying an alcohol-free drink will also stop people from offering to get you a drink that might contain alcohol.

Keep in mind that some drinks labeled as alcohol-free, such as alcohol-free beer, often retain a small percentage of alcohol from the natural brewing process. It is not recommended that you drink them, especially if you are early in your sobriety. If in doubt, talk to your recovery team for advice.

Be Present

In the past, you might have used any celebration or occasion as a reason to drink or abuse substances. In fact, taking substances might have been the only reason you were out at all. When you go out for a special occasion, make an effort to be present. Focus on who you are with and why you are there. Maybe you have been invited to celebrate a friend’s birthday, work promotion, or wedding. Perhaps you are simply catching up with friends. Talk and socialize, celebrate with your loved ones, make memories, but most importantly, have fun.

The great thing about being sober is having a clear mind to make good choices and being able to remember them the next day.

Know When To Call It Quits

When you find yourself bored at an event, and you know this is when you would have reached for an alcoholic drink, leave. If you need to be intoxicated to enjoy yourself, then you aren’t enjoying yourself. If a situation is putting you at risk of relapse, you need to get out of there. Put yourself and your recovery first.

Supportive friends will understand. Friends who can’t respect your boundaries regarding recovery are not being supportive. As stated above, you need to surround yourself with supportive friends when taking the first step to attend parties when sober

Take things one step at a time, and if you feel you have jumped back into parties early or feel overwhelmed, talk to your support team or seek help elsewhere.

What Are the 12 Steps?

Originating from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the 12-step program was designed in 1935 to help people overcome addiction using spirituality and the power of group therapy. Almost one hundred years later, the program continues to play an important part in many recovery programs.

What Is the 12-Step Program?

Founded by Bill. W and Dr. Bob, the 12-step program essentially acts as a blueprint to sobriety, placing a strong focus on spirituality and recovery through God. Since its conception, many clinics and support groups have provided alternate programs with a more secular approach, making them more accessible to the general public.

Designed to treat a wide range of addictions such as gambling, sex, alcohol, and drugs, the 12-steps of AA support those in recovery in transforming their daily habits and addictive behaviors. Those embarking on a 12-step program are encouraged to replace these behaviors with healthy changes and thought patterns.

The idea of the 12-step program is hinged on group therapy and bouncing ideas and inspiration off of one another. This means the format is primarily group-based and very social. Should you join a 12-step program, you will be encouraged to open up and share your journey with others. This will ensure that you are held accountable for your actions and choices.

Why Is the 12-Step Program Effective?

As noted above, the 12-step program for addiction is hinged on group therapy. While opening up isn’t always easy, doing so will show you that you’re not alone. Instead, you’ll discover that you are surrounded by other like-minded people - all on their own journey to sobriety.

The program is also a great way of developing new and healthy friendships with people who understand the struggles you may encounter. It will also help you stay away from triggers that could cause you to relapse. A recent Science Direct study proves the importance of the 12-steps, indicating a link between reduced use of alcohol, drugs, and the program.

Furthermore, joining a 12-step program will encourage you to accept your past and addictive behaviors. Self-acceptance is a key part of recovery, giving you the space to open up, own your mistakes, and overcome feelings such as shame.

After all, letting go of all those mistakes is just as important as accepting them, and the spirituality element of the program is a great way of releasing those feelings. Once you can let go, you will be able to focus on moving forward and a fresh, new start.

Family members can also attend sessions, giving them a deeper understanding of addiction and learning how to support their loved ones through sobriety.

Breaking Down the 12-Step Program

Since its conception, the 12-step program has undergone slight changes over the years. However, the basic foundation remains the same and focuses on group support, therapy, and belief in a higher power. Most recovery programs provide the original program, which incorporate spirituality, while secular alternatives are available for those who aren’t religious.

When it comes to enrolling in a 12-step program, it’s not uncommon to have questions and concerns. For this very reason, we’ve delved into the original steps below.

1.   Honesty and Acceptance

Admit that you have an addiction and that it’s caused your life to become unmanageable.

2.   Faith in a Higher Power

Before making the first steps to recovery, you must come to believe that there is a higher power out there that can help you on your journey. You can’t do it alone.

3.   Surrender to God

Make an active decision to turn to God, asking him for support and help.

4.   Moral Inventory

Take a good look at yourself and make an inventory of all the wrongs you’ve done, both to yourself and others.

5.   Admit Your Wrongs

The only way you’ll be able to let go of the past is by owning up to it. Admit your mistakes and be ready to let them go with the help of God.

6.   Self-Acceptance

Accept your shortcomings and be ready to get rid of them with the help of God.

7.   Humility

Turn to God and ask him to forgive you for your shortcomings.

8.   Willingness

Draw up a list of all the people you’ve hurt with your addiction and be ready to face them.

9.   Seeking Forgiveness

Using your list, confront those you’ve harmed and ask for forgiveness.

10.  Maintenance

Continue taking a moral inventory of yourself and remove triggers from your everyday life.

11.  Building a Relationship With God

Continue to develop a relationship with God, turning to him for continued support and so that he can reveal

the plan that he has for your life.

12. Spread the Word To Help Others

Now that you’ve been through the journey and put the 12 steps into action, it’s your duty to spread the word and help others do the same.

To Conclude

Addiction is treatable, but it takes time and effort to achieve. Armed with the right resources, tools, and support, you’ll be able to overcome addiction and begin taking steps to build a sober life.

A wide range of alcohol and drug rehab clinics and support groups follow the 12-step program, so you’re bound to find something wherever you are.

3 Tips for a Sober Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, you may be wondering how to stay sober during all the festivities. As the holiday season is a time of parties and celebration, maintaining sobriety can be somewhat daunting, especially to those just starting their recovery journey.

Whether you think it’s the most wonderful time of the year or not, you can have an enjoyable Christmas without turning to alcohol. After all, being sober does not mean having to miss out on all the fun.

Here are three tips for celebrating Christmas sober.

1. Plan Activities That Don’t Involve Alcohol

Christmas is all about spending quality time with family and friends. Before embarking on your path to sobriety, you might have engaged in many social events involving alcohol. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and there’s no need to miss out just because you are dedicated to your sobriety.

There's no better time than now to start new traditions that you will look forward to for years to come. Why not plan a night of board games, festive movies, or baking treats with loved ones? Many of these fun activities can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Instead of alcohol, why not set up a hot cocoa station with a variety of toppings to add? If that doesn’t appeal to you, try masala chai tea, a warming drink with rich spices that invokes the Christmas spirit.

2. Keep Busy

Like many others, you may find that keeping busy will help you avoid falling into bad habits or dwelling on old traditions.

Whether creating a routine that includes a form of fitness activity or taking the time to learn new skills, meet new people, and do good for your community, there are many things you can do to stay busy.

Over the festive period, your social calendar might not look busy. If this is the case, why not join a book club, sports group, or community? Crafts also make a great distraction - you’ll even have a finished product at the end to show for your hard work. You could even use them as Christmas gifts.

Another idea for staying busy is volunteering your time to charity, such as animal shelters or soup kitchens. Volunteering is exceptionally beneficial if you find yourself feeling lonely around this time of year. Not only will volunteering leave you feeling good about yourself, but you’ll have the chase to make some friends along the way. You’ll also be making a positive difference in other people’s lives.

3. Plan Ahead

A little planning ahead eases unnecessary anxiety during the festive period. If invited to an event or gathering, consider taking a delicious non-alcoholic drink with you just in case there aren’t any provided. If you go to a restaurant, research the menu ahead of time to see if any of the meals include an alcoholic drink. In doing so, you can ask in advance if they would substitute something non-alcoholic.

If you are participating in gift exchanging or secret Santa, see if someone would be willing to swap with you should you receive an alcoholic gift. Better yet, suggest to your family members, friends, or colleagues that no alcoholic gifts are given. Instead, come up with a theme such as silly socks, puzzles, mugs, or homemade items only.

Celebrate Christmas on Your Own Terms

There is no right way to enjoy Christmas. You might choose to put up your Christmas decorations the moment Thanksgiving is over, the night of Christmas eve, or not at all. You are under no obligation to celebrate in a specific way. Irrespective of your preferences when celebrating the holiday, be kind to yourself during this challenging time.

Remember the acronym H.A.L.T - this stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. These are risk states that can throw a wrench in your recovery. Recognize your triggers, and don’t be afraid to reach out to your support network. There are many people out there working on their sobriety and also having a sober Christmas. You are not alone in this journey.

The key to a successful sober Christmas is being prepared and staying in control.

How to Rebuild a Marriage After Rehab

Relationships are often one of the most significant casualties of addiction. Unfortunately, alcohol and drug abuse can lead to fractured trust, which creates an atmosphere of suspicion and deceit.

You may be feeling deflated, isolated, and low as you come to terms with the reality of the damage your addiction may have caused. However, the good news is that it is possible to rebuild trust in relationships after rehab.

Although not guaranteed, rebuilding your marriage is achievable if you are serious and take the right steps towards making it work.

Rebuild Trust

Trust may have been lost at the height of your substance use disorder. Though often not intentional, this will mean that you will have to rebuild trust in your marriage.

When considering how to rebuild a marriage after rehab, it is important to remember that you will also need to regain trust in yourself. Here are some ways that you can rebuild your marriage after rehab.

Fulfill Commitments

When you make a commitment or promise to your spouse, it is essential to follow it through. Without this dedication, it will be tough to regain their trust. Without trust, it may be challenging to rebuild your marriage after rehab.

If you say you will attend all of your appointments on time, you should do this. Likewise, if you say you will cook your spouse a healthy meal three times a week, stick to this promise.

Making promises that will improve your life will help you regain confidence in yourself. Doing this will simultaneously help your partner realize that you are committed to your recovery and marriage.

Create a Healthy Routine

Creating a healthy routine for yourself will improve your mental and physical health. In turn, this will offer you motivation and positivity.

Motivation and positivity will benefit your marriage as this new and improved positive outlook will also rub off on your partner.

Some things to incorporate into your daily routine could include:

Openly Communicate

Throughout your addiction, you may have lied to your spouse, withdrawn, and shut them out. Therefore, it is crucial that you and your partner clearly and honestly communicate with one another as you begin your recovery.

If you cannot communicate honestly, it will be hard for your partner to trust you. They may worry about you and doubt your recovery. In turn, it will prove challenging to rebuild your marriage after rehab.

Addiction is chronic, so having open communication will enable your partner to understand when you are struggling so they can support you as best as possible.

Be Patient

Don’t feel disheartened if things aren’t fixed straight away. Rebuilding a marriage will take a lot of hard work, dedication, and consistency.

However, little by little, through proving yourself and your ability to transform, your partner should begin to have faith in you once more, and the cracks in your marriage should start to heal.

Attend Counseling

Attending support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or Al-Anon is beneficial throughout recovery. Although these support groups are there to support you, you and your spouse could consider attending counseling either separately or together to rebuild your marriage.

Professional support will help fix broken bonds. It will also enable you to understand yourselves and each other better while offering tips and guidance for staying positive and making proactive, practical steps to improve your marriage.

Addiction is complex, and so it will take time to unpick it and fix your relationship. Thankfully, treatment options are available. Understanding the root cause of your addiction will help you solve problems and challenges you may face.

Write Things Down

Writing things down can be a great way to untangle your thoughts and understand yourself better. Writing can feel very cathartic and will help you to feel more in control of your emotions. In turn, you will be able to communicate better with your partner.

However, having a conversation with your partner about complex subjects may feel daunting. With this in mind, writing things down, perhaps in the form of a letter, will help you. This will give you more control over what you say and allow you to plan what you would like to say without feeling overwhelmed with emotion.

To Conclude

Remember, rebuilding a marriage after rehab will not be easy. But by putting in time and effort, your dedication will help you begin a healthier and happier chapter of your marriage.

What To Do When Your Loved One Is Drinking Too Much?

If your loved one has a drinking problem, it doesn’t only affect them. Alcohol abuse and addiction impact family members, friends, and other loved ones too. It can strain your relationship, cause you to worry and stress over their well-being, or lead you to deny their problem completely.

The good news is that you are not alone in your struggles. Scientists and medics across the globe are constantly working to provide effective advice and treatment for alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Around ⅓ of people who attend treatment for AUD have no symptoms a year later, and many others substantially reduce their drinking.

If you are worried about a loved one drinking too much, there is hope. Talking to your loved one about their problem and encouraging them to get help can be the first step on the road to recovery.

How Do I Know If a Loved One Has a Drinking Problem?

Drinking alcohol in moderation is a normal part of many cultures and not something to worry about. But excessive drinking or binge drinking can be extremely damaging to someone’s health, social, and work life. Consuming too much alcohol can increase your risk of brain damage, heart disease, and liver failure and leads to the death of around 79,000 people each year in the United States.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know if your loved one is drinking excessive amounts. However, recognizing a drinking problem is crucial and the first step in getting help. Here are some signs to watch out for:

How Can I Talk to Someone About Their Drinking?

If you think your loved one is drinking too much, it is important to be open about your concerns. While you cannot force someone to stop drinking, you can let them know the steps they can take to address their problem. This might be speaking to a therapist, participating in support groups, or attending a treatment center.

Here are some tips to guide you through the conversation:

How Can I Encourage a Loved One to Get Help?

Stopping drinking is not an easy process, and almost everyone needs some kind of support. If your loved one is physically dependent on alcohol, they may need medical assistance to withdraw safely. Even if they’re not, they likely need support to develop the skills to overcome addiction and make meaningful changes to their lifestyle.

You can encourage a loved one to get help by:

Remember, even after attending treatment, your loved one will still need your support. Adjusting to a sober life and overcoming the challenges it presents can be a difficult process that requires energy and commitment. However, with the right support, sobriety is possible for anyone - and it’s absolutely worth the effort.

5 Tips for Building Resilience in Early Recovery

Resilience is the ability to adapt to difficult life circumstances or events. Everyone has resilience in some way, shape, or form, and it is a skill that you can develop and make stronger through certain practices.

In early recovery, resilience is particularly important. After leaving rehab, many people find there are certain challenges in sobriety that are difficult to overcome. These setbacks can result in low self-esteem and disappointment, and in some cases, can result in relapse as people turn back to substance misuse as a coping mechanism.

Finding resilience helps you overcome these challenges and continue on your recovery journey. Here are our five tips for finding and building resilience in early recovery.

1. Build Strong Support Networks

Having strong support networks is fundamental to overcoming the challenges life presents. Supportive friends and loved ones can offer us advice on how to deal with difficult situations. They can also encourage us to keep going, stay strong, and assure us that things will be okay.

Developing bonds with others in recovery can be particularly valuable. Seeing how others have overcome their own challenges provides a source of inspiration and helps us find the same resilience in ourselves.

Attending support group meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can help you develop these connections. Meetings are free to attend and take place in person across the globe and online, so you can find support wherever you are in the world.

2. View Challenges as an Opportunity to Improve

If you are experiencing a relapse, financial difficulties, or relationship problems, it is easy to feel like you have let yourself down or failed in some way. However, instead of feeling disappointed by setbacks, view them as an opportunity to learn and improve.

We all go through difficult times and act in ways we wish we hadn’t. Rather than feeling bad about yourself, look for ways you can use the experience to grow. Try and see what you would do differently next time or how you can change your attitude and behavior to handle the situation in a more positive way.

Look for skills that will help you overcome these challenges and take steps to develop them - and ask others for support in this. This way, you can leave a difficult situation feeling stronger and better equipped than you were before.

3. Practice Self-Care

When your mental health and overall well-being are good, it is easier to find resilience. It helps you to stay positive, appreciate your strengths, and remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Taking care of yourself can help you maintain good mental health in early recovery. Self-care practices include:

4. Practice Mindfulness Exercises

If you feel unable to cope during early recovery, you may be tempted to turn back to substances as an escape. Mindfulness is a practice that helps you cope with feelings of sadness and stress in healthy ways, so you can remain resilient and continue on your path of recovery.

Mindfulness is the process of letting go of the past and future and focusing on the present. You can develop mindfulness through breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, and many other exercises. Being in the present moment helps the challenges you are facing feel smaller and more manageable - it stops you from obsessing over how it might damage your future or what the consequences will be.

Mindfulness is an evidence-based tool for building skills that can help with addiction and relapse, and it is often offered by addiction treatment centers. You can also access mindfulness courses online or through private sessions in most places around the world.

5. Set Yourself Achievable Daily Goals

Setting yourself small, achievable goals each day can help you build your self-esteem and belief in your ability to succeed. These goals could be as simple as going on a run each morning, doing ten minutes of meditation, or attending recovery meetings.

Building your self-esteem helps you find resilience in the face of challenges. When a difficult situation presents itself, you learn to believe in yourself and know that you have the skills to overcome it.