Alcohol is a major problem for many Americans, and it’s actually the #1 most abused drug in the United States in terms of total abuse. The people who are most vulnerable to developing a drinking problem are young adults between the ages of 18 and 29, while the least vulnerable are those over age 65. However, it’s important to remember that substance abuse doesn’t discriminate — people of all ages, sex, race, income level, and creed can suffer from addiction and alcoholism.
If you or someone you know has been drinking to excess and showing signs of a growing alcohol problem, it is recommended that they detox immediately and get help. There are alcohol detox centers all over the country, with doctors who can provide various alcoholism treatments. But before you see the detox doctor, there are things you should do for yourself.
Here are three things you need to do before entering an alcohol detox center:
- Remove Alcohol
The first step in getting better is to remove the source of the problem. If you or someone you love has a drinking problem, or any form of addiction, you need to remove the substance from their home. This may sound obvious, but it’s a critical first step, especially if there are still other social drinkers in the household. Withdrawing and recovering from alcoholism is hard enough; avoid the temptation altogether. Get rid of all of the alcohol you have on hand so you won’t be tempted to relapse in your first days of recovery.
- Find Support
You should find a support network that is able to help you through the tough times, but that doesn’t just mean friends and family. After completing alcohol detox, many people find strength in outpatient programs, peer support groups, or 12-step treatment groups. A group of sober people can keep you safe and keep you clean while you recover. Most addiction specialists agree that finding a sober support network is crucial to mental and physical health after alcohol detox.
- Clear Your Schedule
Having a full schedule can cause a lot of stress, and stress makes it harder to keep yourself in check. Clearing your schedule means that you have more time to focus on your recovery. Take time off of work for treatment and give yourself time to heal, at least for a little while, so you can focus on your recovery. However, don’t give yourself too much free time, either. Boredom can be a powerful relapse risk in early recovery.
Detoxing is a hard thing, and fighting addiction in the long term is even harder. It’s important that you get the right help in order to do both. Finding a doctor and forming a support group are just two ways that you can combat alcoholism and other addictions.
Most importantly, if you have any questions concerning detoxing or alcoholism treatments, do not hesitate to ask for help. You deserve it.