Alcohol usage among Americans continues to grow, even though many organizations actively fund and organize campaigns aimed at stemming the growth of this problem through education and tougher legislation. Recent statistics compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism are especially alarming and suggest that nearly 10 percent of all adult males and 5 percent of all adult females (over the age of 18) are dealing with some type of alcohol use problem. Teenagers are also abusing alcohol, with statistics showing that 2.5 percent of teenage boys between the ages of 12 and 17 are regularly abusing alcohol and more than 3 percent of teen girls in that age group are doing the same. With these statistics in mind, it comes as no surprise that alcohol is now ranked as the third leading cause of preventable death in this country and the trend continues to grow. Dealing with an alcohol addiction is not easy, but it is possible, and these positive actions can help.
Tell Someone You Trust
One of the reasons that alcohol abuse is a growing problem is that it is one that is easily concealed. Alcohol's ready availability and low cost often creates situations where even close family members are not aware that a problem exists. If you are abusing alcohol, the first step in dealing with the problem successfully is to confide in someone you trust. Just the act of actually speaking out loud about your alcohol use with a spouse, partner, close friend, relative, member of your church, or a support group can help you come to terms with the problem and begin to move toward finding a way to address it.
Set Small Goals
Alcohol abuse is often related to an activity that becomes a habit, such as stopping at the bar on the way home from work or buying and consuming a bottle of wine or a several beers on your day off. Setting small goals that change these destructive habits, such as choosing to abstain from drinking on the way home from work just once each week or foregoing that weekend binge will help you have the confidence to increase your goals, bit by bit. Once you see that you can eliminate alcohol from specific periods in your life, you will begin to feel empowered to stop drinking completely.
Seek Support from Others Who Have Dealt With Similar Issues
As an abuser of alcohol, you may feel like other people in your life are judging you. This is especially true if they have not dealt with any type of addiction issue in their own life. To avoid this issue and help you move forward toward success, join a support group, such as Alcoholic's Anonymous, or any group where you will feel that you are among peers. The people in these groups have experienced their own struggles with addictive behavior and know how to best offer the support and assistance you need to keep moving forward in your wining the battle with alcohol.
Change the Focus
Alcohol and many other addictions can cause people to narrow their focus and lose sight of what is going on in the world around them. When this occurs, it can become even more difficult for you to forego using alcohol to self-medicate. To help you take the focus off your own situation, find an organization that helps people better their lives and begin volunteering regularly. Whether it is serving at a homeless shelter, cleaning up the local park or helping to build or repair housing for those less fortunate, the act of giving your time and attention to others will improve your mood, widen your view of the world and strengthen your resolve to improve your own situation.
Give Serious Thought to Entering Rehab
Alcohol can be extremely difficult to give up on your own, even when you work to move forward with positive actions. However, many people are able to stop drinking with the help of a good alcohol rehab program. Many of these programs offer both in-patient and out-patient programs with flexible treatment schedules.