Abstinence is not a matter of willpower or self-denial. The choice – to drink or not to drink – seems simple for primary abstainers and people who are not addicted to alcohol. Do not reach for spirits, you won’t have a problem! Unfortunately, it is difficult for alcoholics to refrain from drinking and to persist in sobriety. How to stop drinking?
Nobody is born an alcoholic. Unfortunately, some fall into the trap of addiction and it is difficult for them to disentangle themselves. How does alcoholism develop? Imperceptibly and in a pleasant way. Ethanol encourages, relaxes, makes people more sociable, self-confident and talkative. Alcohol gives the impression that the number of friends and acquaintances is growing. It is easier to organize your free time in an attractive way. Over time, the fact of alcohol consumption comes to the fore, becoming the most important element of social gatherings.
Why is it difficult to get out of addiction?
Alcoholism is not the result of a lack of strong will or moral weakness. Alcoholic disease develops on the basis of pleasure, which accompanies the consumption of spirits. An alcoholic concentrates his thoughts around drinking and alcohol. His life is dominated by the urge: “I need to drink.” He loses control when he drinks, how much he drinks, how long and how often. Breaks the limits on the amount of alcohol consumed. What can help an alcoholic? Threats, pleas, forcing promises, appealing to the conscience, scaring with hell, embarrassment, resorting to reason, logical argumentation, applying punishments, public stigmatization will not help. Even professional treatments, detoxification, alcohol labels, tonics and sedatives will not help. To date, medicine has not been able to answer the question why some drink alcohol in a controlled manner and others become addicted. Alcoholism is a chronic and fatal disease that needs to be treated, preferably with the help of psychotherapy.
Phases of alcoholism
For most diseases, the sooner the diagnosis and treatment take place, the easier the whole process is, as is alcoholism. In the 1960s, American scientist E.M. Jellinek published an exhaustive scientific work in which he described in detail the causes of alcoholism, as well as divided its development into the following phases:
- initial alcohol – increased tolerance to alcohol, the drug becomes not only a way to get bored, but also emotional problems; the phase lasts from several years to several months,
- warning – due to alcohol intoxication, total or partial memory gaps begin to appear,
- critical – begins when the patient loses control of drinking,
- chronic – alcoholic strings begin to appear, lasting several days.
Thinking all the time not to drink just drives the train to the glass. In the first period of abstinence, your thoughts will often revolve around the bottle, but it’s worth trying to focus on other things – responsibilities, physical activity, hobbies.