Alcohol recovery treatment is most successful when it is initiated by enrollment at an inpatient treatment facility. The recommended length of stay is 60-90 days. Upon discharge from the alcohol recovery program, the alcoholic must stay looped in with a network of recovering alcoholics. It is also highly recommended that the alcoholic choose a sponsor before leaving inpatient treatment so that the relationship can continue growing once treatment is completed. The sponsor and sponsee will communicate daily on everything from step-work, to daily gripes, to extremely personal inner struggles. The alcoholic should make to sustain connections with other alcoholics in recovery over a long period of time, so that he/she always has someone to go to meetings with, call in times of an emergency, and to engage with in sober activities.
Alcoholics in recovery are encouraged to maintain sobriety as their number one priority, particularly during the first year of recovery. Jobs, relationships, family, and various other obligations are subordinate to adhering to a recovery program. Alcoholics are encouraged to follow Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step program with the support of their sponsor.
If you are a recovering alcoholic, most professionals will recommend that you take the following steps to facilitate and enhance your recovery process:
- Pray or meditate daily
- Spend time “fellowship-ing” before, during and after AA meetings
- Join a sober group, such as a church group, hiking group, or sober acting class
- Read books, self-help materials, health journals, and related novels
- Pamper yourself; take a bubble bath, watch a recovery-related film, get monthly massages, spend the weekend at a spa, listen to music
- Eat healthy, well-balanced meals
- Set boundaries with existing family members and non-recovery friends to safeguard your sobriety
- Exercise daily; doing so releases endorphins in the brain and can be the source of a natural “high”
- Be of service; this is the last and most important piece of advice. Help others, shake hands with a newcomer, and perform random, selfless deeds.
It is important for a recovering alcoholic not to exert himself or herself to the point of exhaustion. Recovering alcoholics are taught to memorize and understand the acronym H.A.L.T. These letters stand for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. Try not to allow yourself to get caught in any of the four states of mind, at least not for an extended period of time.
Alcoholism recovery is an individualized process that differs from alcoholic to alcoholic. There is no standard set of rules to abide by or a simple best answer. There are many types of alcohol recovery programs available to alcoholics in recovery, such as outpatient centers. Outpatient alcoholic treatment programs offer classes during a variety of different times, so the alcoholic can schedule their outpatient schedule around existing obligations. For those who attend school or work during the day, there are thrice-weekly outpatient programs from 6pm-9pm for example. Outpatient treatment facilities generally incorporate group therapy, neurological studies, AA-type group structures, Big Book studies, and in some cases, individualized psychotherapy as part of their treatment program. Alcoholics are encouraged to participate in an outpatient treatment program upon discharging from inpatient treatment, i.e. a 24/7 constant care facility, so that he or she can sustain accountability throughout the early stages of alcoholism recovery.