Alcohol is a problem across the globe. Canada has a huge problem with the substance. People who live in this country drink more than 50% more than the global average, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Drinking too much has now become the third leading cause of disease and injury on the planet. In Canada, 47,000 people are killed every year by alcohol. Alcohol and drug abuse has cost the Canadian heath care system at least $8 billion. If you or someone you love suffers from alcoholism, it can feel hopeless. It is not. Recovery is possible. There are ways to make alcohol rehab easier.
1. You may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Whether you go into an inpatient rehab facility or do it at home, alcohol withdrawal is not a joke. Regardless of your plans, you should talk to a medical professional about stopping your drinking. If you have been drinking heavily, your symptoms can be life threatening and can include seizures and convulsions. Many people suffer more minor symptoms. These can include headaches, nausea, tremors, insomnia, depression and fatigue.
If you start to experience any serious symptoms, you should seek out medical help right away. Many people put off stopping drinking out of a fear of the withdrawal symptoms. The good news is that these do not last forever. Even the worst symptoms will go away. A few days (or a week) of being uncomfortable is worth it when you have a lifetime of feeling better ahead of you.
2. Make your home as comfortable as you can.
The alcohol rehab process may feel like it goes on much longer than it should. First of all, if there is any alcohol in your home, you cannot go through this process until you have gotten rid of every single bit of it. Even if you think you have the best will power on earth, if there is alcohol in your home when you are going through this process, you will end up drinking it. That is just a fact.
On the flip side, get healthy, nutritious foods that will make you feel better. This is not the time to start a diet or worry about your weight. Many people who drink too much may not get the proper nutrition. You should supplement your diet with vitamins such as the B family. Thiamine and B12 should be a part of your recovery process. Alcohol abuse also prevents the absorption of a lot of vitamins so taking a multivitamin might be helpful. Talk to your doctor about this.
3. Try to stay positive.
When you are going through the alcohol rehab process, you will have good days and you will have bad days. This is totally normal. One phrase that seems to help a lot of people in many circumstances and situations is, “This, too, shall pass.” Whatever feelings you have, be they good, bad or neutral will come and go. There are many types of substance abuse but they all share this experience. What you can do to make this easier is to try to remain as positive as you can.
4. Look for a good support group.
When you are going through the alcohol rehab and recovery process, few things are more helpful that attending support groups and meetings. You may not want to at first and you may have to try a few different meetings and meeting locations before you find one that speaks to you and makes you comfortable but, if you work at it, you will find one that suits your preferences and needs. You may find that a group made up only of people who are the same gender as you might help. Other people prefer going to groups with both men and women.
Some people refuse to go to support groups because of their religion. While it is true that many meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous end with a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, there is no religious requirement for attendance or membership.
Recovering from any addition is hard and takes time. Be good to yourself, trust the process and you will find that it gets easier over time. You will get better.