It might go without saying that drinking alcohol is harmful and can lead to long term health issues, not to mention addiction. However, given the fact that alcohol is so widely accepted as a social drug and considering that most social events you go to is going to serve alcohol, discussing its dangers has value!
When an individual walks down most city streets, he or she is going to walk by bars, dance clubs, and restaurants that serve alcohol. Even going to a taco joint is likely going to serve beer and margaritas.
Alcohol is waving itself in front of us in most social locations. And so people get a double message: yes, it’s okay to drink alcohol but no, it’s not okay because it’s dangerous for your physical and psychological health.
Of course, because of the mixed messages, it’s important to make a clear decision for yourself. And this decision likely depends upon your experience with alcohol, history of alcohol addiction in your family, whether or not you’ve seen the dangers of alcohol for yourself or in the experience of others, and how alcohol has affected your physical body. All these play a role in how you view the use of alcohol.
The Pros and Cons of Drinking
Of course, if you have an addiction already, then your relationship with alcohol is likely ambivalent – a lot like the mixed messages society sends us. In fact, an essential part of stopping the cycle of addiction is resolving this ambivalence.
Because on the one hand you might really enjoy drinking. Although you want to enter a substance abuse treatment program, you might still have a lingering need and desire to use. Why not?, you might think to yourself. It feels good. Drinking might bring you relief from emotional pain, a way to ease stress, and a way to feel better about yourself.
Other reasons to continue to use might still be there, despite the growing severity in consequences. Also, if underlying psychological issues, medical concerns, or any mental illnesses still exist, then the desire to drink will almost undoubtedly continue.
Yet, at the same time, drinking might be the reason you’re unemployed or why your wife is no longer living at home or what caused the big fight between you and a close friend. Drinking might have also led to getting DUI’s, financial debt, and legal issues. The pros and cons of drinking can weigh heavy on anyone caught in the cycle of addiction.
How Substance Abuse Treatmemt can Help
For this reason, an important part to substance abuse treatment is addressing the ambivalence to change. The examination and resolution of this ambivalence needs to be the focus of treatment. It’s important to know that ambivalence doesn’t end when treatment ends. In fact, it might increase.
Once an individual leaves 24-hour care and they feel the freedom of their discharge, a part of them might yearn for drinking again. A part of them may want to return to old friends, old ways, and the highs of having a drinking in their hand.
It’s essential to have two things during and after substance abuse treatment:
- A clear decision that you don’t want to drink.
- An environment that is going to support your sobriety.
Of course, the environment that an alcohol treatment center provides is one that supports sober living. It also brings with it a community of people who are struggling with similar inner challenges and who also have made the decision to stay sober. An alcohol treatment center is a pivotal place for recovering addicts to get the addiction help they need and to continue to face their ambivalence head on.
In fact, an alcohol treatment center is where anyone wishing to find freedom from their addiction can safely return to his or her life.
There’s no question that if you commit yourself to sobriety no matter what, and if you address the factors that keep you drinking… and if you really, really want to stop drinking, perhaps the ambivalence and the addiction itself will come to an end.
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