According to the Australian Medical Association, 1 in 10 Australians drink alcohol at such volume that it is considered a high risk to their health. Australians are also starting to drink at a much younger age. With alcohol becoming a major problem, the government has instituted many campaigns to raise awareness of the harmful effects of alcohol consumption.
While realizing that you have a drinking problem is tough, admitting it to yourself and others is one of the hardest things anybody can ever do. According to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), admitting that you have a problem is the first step to recovery. But where does a person go from there?
Steps To Recovery
• Make A Commitment to Stop Drinking
It’s easy to say you’re going to stop drinking one day, and then go out and have a few beers with your friends the next. If you are ready to stop drinking, then make a full commitment to it. Don’t waffle or sit on the fence.
• Create A Pros & Cons List
Make a list for yourself that has the benefits of drinking as you perceive them on one side, and the benefits of quitting on the other side. Try to find an opposite point for each side. Add to this list as you go on to remind yourself of the reasons you should quit.
• Join A Group
It may seem like the very last thing you want to do, but joining a support group and hearing others talk about their difficulties when it comes to their addiction to drink and how they overcome these can have a huge impact on helping you to maintain sobriety. Groups like AA offer fellow alcoholics a chance to talk about their problems and find encouragement. AA also offers online meetings should you not be able to attend one in person.
• See Your Doctor
This may not seem like an important step, but quitting alcohol after a long period of abuse can take its toll on your body. Your doctor can advise you on what to expect and how to handle some of the more unpleasant side effects of going sober. If needed, he or she can also prescribe medication to help you cope with the first few days of your detox.
• Get A Coach
If a group meeting doesn’t feel like enough to help push you down the right path, sometimes one-on-one help can give you a road map to success. A life coach Melbourne-based can assist with that. A mentor can go through tactics and strategies to help you make positive changes in your life and to set goals which are attainable.
• Wake Up From the Nightmare
The facts are sobering. Four people under the age of 25 die each week because of alcohol. Most of the time, drinkers regret their actions when they have sobered up. And one out of every 4 who are hospitalized in our country are in hospital because of drink. To prevent ruining your future, learn to curb your alcohol intake.
• Stop the Harm
Drinking in excess not only has negative impacts on your body and your performance at work or at school. There are legal and social implications as well. Your family might be embarrassed by your public drunken behavior. The tendency to have unprotected sex is great in inebriated people, putting you at risk for STDs or unwanted pregnancies. It’s also been shown that excessive alcohol use in Australia leads to violence and assault.
• Grow Up
When you are under the influence, making wise decisions is difficult. Providing alcohol to a minor will get you fined. Thinking that you are able to drive poses a huge threat to yourself and others. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated can alter your life. All of these infractions could lead to heavy fines, a revoked license, a criminal record, and incarceration. These are all things that will hang over your head for quite some time, essentially putting your personal and professional life in jeopardy.
Breaking the cycle of alcoholism is extremely difficult, and you may occasionally have a relapse. You might find yourself craving alcohol and feel badly about it, or even beat yourself up about your past actions when you were drunk. Realize that you are a human being who makes mistakes, and that you are now trying to fix that. Forgive yourself and complement yourself on your present efforts.
Once you’ve made the commitment to yourself to quit drinking, you will find that your life will dramatically change. Be prepared for that change and embrace it. By following the steps above, you can achieve your goal to quit.
Debbie Nguyen is a freelance designer and blogger. She had to give up alcohol for health reasons over twenty years ago. If you live in Australia and could use some help quitting drinking, search life coach Melbourne online, for some direction on how to meet your goal.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/foshie/378914196/