How to beat alcoholism

The use of alcohol is generally accepted in today’s society. Alcohol is consumed at social gatherings from birthdays to the end of the workweek celebrations with friends and co-workers at bars, clubs, restaurants, or in the home. Drinking is often associated with relaxing, partying, and socializing. Often, the only person sober is the designated driver in a group. Beating alcoholism is possible, but takes time, effort and determination.

Understanding Alcohol

Alcohol has an intense impact on the brain and can alter a person's reaction time, coordination and judgment. Alcohol provides a sense of euphoria and makes problems seem like they no longer exist. There is nothing wrong with casual drinking in moderation and studies have shown moderate consumption of alcohol may even have some health benefits. However, when a person can no longer function without alcohol, they may have reached the point where they are considered an alcoholic and where sobriety is no longer the norm.

reverse osmosis banner vertical

Recognizing a Problem

The first step in beating alcoholism is to recognize when drinking has become a problem. A person who is considered an alcoholic has developed a physical and psychological dependency on alcohol. Alcoholism does not develop overnight. It comes from a long period of time of developing habits and getting a point where drinking is a common part of a person's daily routine. Eventually, alcoholics build up a tolerance to alcohol and need more to achieve the same effect. Relationships begin to suffer. Moments of complete sobriety become far and few between and it takes more effort to become sober again to function normally. Usually, an alcoholic is the last person to realize that they have a problem. They make excuses. Unfortunately, there is no way to beat alcoholism unless an individual is ready to admit that there is a problem that needs to be taken seriously.

Going It Alone

Many people with an alcohol problem think they can quit on their own anytime they so choose. In reality, this is much harder to do than most people realize. It is estimated that at least 90 percent of those who try to achieve sobriety have at least one relapse within 30 days. People who have been drinking for a long period of time are likely to have an actual physical addiction to alcohol. Taking away all alcohol at once will cause the body to go through withdrawal. This period is referred to as "detox," where an individual's system becomes adjusted to functioning without alcohol. This is why professional rehabilitation is recommended.


Professional rehabilitation is considered by many experts to be the best way to help an alcoholic become sober for good. Alcohol rehab is broken down into three basic categories:

  • Physical - This refers to a body's physical dependence on alcohol.
  • Mental - This refers to the feelings and issues suppressed by alcohol, the things people try to avoid such as stress and depression.
  • Psychological - This refers to false feelings of confidence or self-assurance created by alcohol.

The rehab process takes time. Short-term rehab programs are rarely as successful as long-term facilities for those with a serious addiction to alcohol. This is not to say that short-term programs are not effective. Treatment is more intense and these programs work better for individuals with a lesser degree of addiction. The first step is to get the body accustomed to functioning again without alcohol. Next comes addressing the reasons a person has for drinking. This encompasses the mental and psychological and starts with identifying those reasons, discussing them, and finding alternative outlets for handling the issues that caused the drinking in the first place. The final step is accepting responsibility and apologizing to those who may have suffered because of your addiction.

Causes of Alcoholism

There are many reasons people turn to alcohol. Identifying the cause or causes for an individual is a big step in the recovery process. Recent studies suggest alcoholism may actually run in some families, meaning genetic factors give some people a predisposition to addiction. Additional common factors include stress, depression, or personal problems at home or at work. Social drinking can easily get out of hand, especially with younger people. Long-term abuse of alcohol may cause several health issues from cirrhosis of the liver to heart problems.

Living with Temptation

There is no cure for alcoholism. Addiction to alcohol may be successfully treated, but an alcoholic cannot take a drink again without serious risk of rehab. Those recovering from alcoholism may enjoy a life of sobriety by learning to address the underlying problems that caused the addiction in the first place. This includes finding healthy, alternative ways of coping. The most important part of beating alcoholism is love, care, affection, and a strong support system.

Read Next: Tips to Sober Up Faster

Reading next