Alcohol detox is only the first step towards your recovery from alcoholism. During the phase of your initial detoxification process, you are removing the alcohol from your system. The real work must follow. It comes by resolving the core issue of why you drink. If you don’t stick to doing the necessary follow up work you will probably relapse. Many alcoholics do. That is just a cold, hard fact. It has been proven over and over again.
Alcoholism and Your Brain
Drinking alcohol depletes a series of chemicals in your brain. These chemicals are responsible for our feelings of pleasure and well-being. At the same time, alcohol use releases stress chemicals into the brain. These chemicals create tension and depression. The combination of the force of these two different actions creates a chemical imbalance in the brain. It leaves every alcoholic vulnerable to relapse. In 12 step programs, they say it leads to what is called the phenomenon of craving.
Hoping to find relief from their cravings, an alcoholic chooses to drink more. That’s the easiest solution and it’s a powerful one, too. But the problem gets worse because the more they drink the more the opposing chemicals in the brain are produced. The continuation of this negative cycle is behind what ultimately raises the level it takes for an alcoholic to feel normal. This imbalance will remain even after the alcoholic stops drinking. It will continue to lurk there waiting for the next drink.
Family history is the only current indicator of alcoholism. Or a better way to say it might be for it to at least create the potential for someone to be alcoholic. If you have an alcoholic parent you have a better chance of being alcoholic yourself. For men faced with this reality, it is a more severe risk than women.
So What is the Cure for Alcoholism?
There is only one recognized cure for the disease of alcoholism. Abstinence. This chemical imbalance in your brain will always be there if you are a true alcoholic. If you take a drink you will not stop. It’s just that simple. If you drink again, you will be right back where you started before your Alcohol Detox. Such is the true test of a true alcoholic. This is a tough one to face. None of us like to admit we don’t have control. However, this is what a drinking problem is all about. It is our lack of ability to control our drinking.
So What Can You Do?
Alcohol detox may actually turn out to be the easy part. Pain related to drinking will eventually bring you to the decision to detox. You will just want to feel better. But it doesn’t end there. It is easy to forget or minimize the impact of your pain after a while. Normally, this justification can occur very quickly. And there is a good reason for it. The chemical imbalance in your brain is still there. It will let you know that drinking will make you feel better. It will send cravings. You know better. It is only short lived. But it is always there.
There are some good after care programs out there for you to get added support. Some are through medical facilities. Others are through churches. There are always the 12 step programs, too. These support groups are available pretty much everywhere today.
All of these options have their pros and cons. It will depend on who you talk to and how they feel. Do your research and pick the best one for you. Your life may depend on it. You can get through it. Many people do. The key is to do something after alcohol detox. Keep yourself focused and driven to staying sober.