Many individuals wonder when do alcohol cravings stop after becoming sober? These cravings are different for all individuals. Alcoholism is a disease, and treating the condition as anything less than this is a mistake. The control that’s slipping away isn’t a weakness of your mind, and not being able to cut back your drinking habit isn’t indicative of poor moral character. These are fallacies that have to be dismissed before facing the truth of the disease.
Over seven percent of the American population is chained to the effects of alcohol cravings, and, being that alcohol is only a liquor store away, it’s hard to get out from under the shadow of alcohol abuse, but it is possible. What’s needed is the support of an inpatient recovery establishment to cut off the source of the cravings and put you back on the path to sobriety.
The misconceptions surrounding alcohol abuse have mostly dispersed. The idea that someone has to be down on their luck and drinking out of a bottle hidden in a paper bag is a fictional notion best left in the movies. Alcoholism is a disease that restructures the way the brain functions at a chemical level. The cravings enter the scene when the alcohol trigger is no longer within your system. They become all-consuming, obliterating good judgment in favor of just one more drink. And that one drink becomes a whole bottle, enough to render you intoxicated. Symptoms that indicate possible alcoholism include, but aren’t limited to the following:
- Using alcohol to escape problems
- You lie to friends and family about your drinking
- Blackouts and medical problems
- Constantly intoxicated
- Cravings return even after you’ve sworn off drinking
- Constant shame and disgust at your drunken actions
New ways of thinking enter your mind. It becomes a case of trying not to drink before noon. You rationalize the loss of a friend or the breakdown of a marriage. Hospitalization is a real possibility as your body struggles to cope with alcohol poisoning, and you’re waking up in strange places with no memory of how you got there. You’ve lost control, and the cravings are only getting worse.
Taking Your Life Back
It’s a pivotal moment when you realize you’re a heavy drinker, a possible alcoholic. There will be feelings of impotency and frustration at this loss of control, but you must know that you’re sick, a victim of a terrible disease that claims 88,000 lives every year (www.niaaa.nih.gov), and, just like with any illness, you need help. The cravings can be conquered. You begin by entering a recovery program, by adopting an inpatient approach that takes you away from the triggers associated with your condition. The adage of taking a single day at a time becomes your mantra. You’re out from the enabling friends and endless liquor stores lining the streets and into a fresh environment filled with tools aimed at delivering sobriety to mind and body.
Recovery and an End to the Question, “When do Alcohol Cravings Stop?”
An inpatient facility is armed with detox techniques and therapy sessions, group counseling, and tailored programs designed to get you back on your feet. You can walk out of this center whole and free of alcohol, but you must temper this future with some tough truths. The detox period will be hard. Your body will cry out for alcohol and the therapy sessions may force you to face some truths you’ve avoided all of your life. Also, even after you complete a 28-day program, relapse is a possibility. Close to 70 percent of all alcoholics relapse in their first year of sobriety. Don’t view this as a bleak fact, but rather as a misstep toward full recovery. A single relapse can be the greatest catalyst of all on your path to recovery. The inpatient program explains the possibility of relapse and encourages you not to view this as a failure.
Myths About Relapse
- All you need is willpower.
- Thoughts of relapse indicate trouble.
- People who relapse are hopeless and unmotivated.
First of all, willpower and a dedicated approach to recovery are admirable, but that’s not enough to beat cravings and wondering, “When do alcohol cravings stop?” Coping mechanisms are taught by inpatient facilities, and these tools work alongside your willpower to end the cravings. Thoughts of relapse may or may not indicate a return to the bad old day, but this is an excellent opportunity to call your sponsor and refresh a step on your twelve step recovery program.
Finally, there are no hopeless alcoholics. As long as you’re willing to commit to a recovery program, you can wash away the cravings. But remember, they may occasionally revisit your life, especially if you renew your acquaintance with old drinking buddies and parties where alcohol will be served. When do alcohol cravings stop? The fact is, they may never stop, but they will lessen as time goes on and you will think less and less about drinking alcohol.