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Are you Powerless Over Alcohol?

The first step to recovery, according to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), is to admit that you are powerless over alcohol and that your life has become unmanageable. This crucial acknowledgment is often the hardest for many people, as those who struggle with alcoholism frequently find themselves in denial about the severity of their problem.

Damaged relationships with family and friends, job loss due to unreliability or poor performance, and disruptive sleep patterns that impact overall health are just a few of the ways alcoholism can wreak havoc. Financial issues often arise as well, with money being spent on alcohol at the expense of essential needs and responsibilities.

What Does it Mean to be Powerless Over Alcohol?

It means recognizing that one’s drinking has become uncontrollable and that attempts to moderate or quit have repeatedly failed. This concept highlights the overwhelming compulsion to drink despite the negative consequences it brings, such as health issues, damaged relationships, and financial problems.

Individuals who are suffering from alcoholism often find themselves prioritizing drinking over important responsibilities and activities, and their lives can become consumed by the need to drink. The emotional and psychological toll includes feelings of shame, guilt, and helplessness, which can worsen existing mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

Accepting this powerlessness is a crucial step in recovery, as it allows individuals to seek the necessary help and support to regain control over their lives and work towards sobriety.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol, similar to other drugs, has a potent impact on the brain by generating pleasurable sensations and dulling negative emotions. These effects can drive individuals to repeatedly consume alcohol, despite the potential risks to their health and well-being.

Untreated Alcoholism

This dilemma represents a significant public health challenge, as it often goes unnoticed or ignored due to social stigma, denial, or lack of awareness. Individuals struggling with alcoholism may not seek help due to feelings of shame, fear of judgment, or a belief that they can manage their drinking on their own.

The reluctance is compounded by the fact that alcohol is a socially accepted substance, making it difficult for many to recognize the severity of their addiction. Furthermore, access to treatment can be hindered by socioeconomic factors, lack of healthcare resources, or insufficient support systems.

Untreated alcohol abuse remains a significant public health crisis in the United States, leading to devastating consequences for individuals and communities. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, an alarming 140,557 Americans die from the effects of alcohol annually, underscoring the lethal impact of this condition. 

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this issue, with over half of Americans reporting an increase in their alcohol consumption during lockdowns. This surge in drinking behavior has heightened the risks associated with alcoholism, contributing to a rise in alcohol dependency and related health complications.

Without intervention, individuals remain trapped in a destructive cycle, underscoring the importance of increased education, accessible treatment options, and supportive communities to address untreated alcoholism effectively.

Alcoholism contributes to many physical and mental health issues and even death.

Many people with an addiction to alcohol feel guilt, low self-esteem, and shame. When a person admits that alcohol is affecting his or her life, they can start recovery. The first step is about powerlessness over behavior that makes the individual’s life unmanageable.

Alcoholism affects millions of people worldwide. Individuals struggling with this condition often find themselves powerless over alcohol, which can lead to a host of serious health issues both physical and mental health.

Physical Health Issues

  • Liver damage 
  • Cardiovascular problems 
  • Digestive issues 
  • Neurological damage 

Mental Health Issues

  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Increased risk of suicide 
  • Social isolation and relationship issues 
  • Cognitive impairment

A person with alcohol addiction feels powerless because his or her behavior changes in ways that would not happen when sober. The mental obsession and physical cravings increase after the first drink, causing the person to drink more.

Examples of Powerlessness Over Alcohol

A person is powerless because even though alcohol consumption can cause physical harm or death, he or she continues to drink. When a person is powerless over alcohol, he or she:

  • Cannot stop drinking once they start
  • Drinks under any circumstance, every day
  • Craves more and more
  • Loses the ability to function
  • Cannot drink safely
  • Cannot control what they say or do after drinking
  • Becomes irritable when not drinking
  • Physically craves alcohol
  • Drinks despite prior consequences

Cravings can become very strong for a person who has an addiction to alcohol. The brain’s function and the person’s physical health are affected. The brain controls our movements, thoughts, critical thinking, coordination, speech, and walking. When alcohol is consumed, the brain’s neurotransmitters, which send messages to other parts of the body, are disrupted.

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol causes delayed reactions, loss of coordination, slurred speech, and inability to walk. The brain becomes physically dependent on alcohol to function, so when alcohol is not consumed, a person can become irritable, angry, depressed, anxious, and agitated. Do you know the 10 signs someone needs treatment for an alcohol problem?

Admitting to being powerless over alcohol will help a person to recognize that he or she does not have control over their drinking. Denying there is a problem only allows the person to continue their destructive behavior. Providing these examples of powerlessness over alcohol can help an individual to start recovery.

Overcoming Alcoholism

There are several effective treatment options for alcohol addiction. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a comprehensive approach customized to the severity of the addiction and the presence of any co-occurring disorders. Our addiction professionals highly recommend a multi-staged recovery program to ensure the best outcomes.

  • Medical detox – Our professionals closely monitor and treat withdrawal symptoms immediately to prevent severe health risks.
  • Inpatient or residential treatment – We offer intensive care in a live-in facility for 30 to 90 days, with specialized programs for those with additional mental health or behavioral issues. This phase is often followed by a step-down level of care.
  • Outpatient treatment – We offer flexible outpatient options such as Partial Hospitalization (PHP), Intensive Outpatient (IOP), and standard Outpatient (OP). These programs allow clients to apply recovery skills in real-life settings while receiving support in therapeutic groups.

Reclaim Your Life. You Don’t Have to Stay Powerless Over Alcohol. 

You don’t have to stay powerless over alcohol. Recovery is possible, and healing can transform your mind, body, and spirit. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a holistic, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders.

Reach out today to learn more about our personalized treatment plans and partial care programs. Start your journey to a healthier, happier life with Enlightened Solutions.

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