You CAN live a SOBER LIFE again - CALL NOW for treatment options

5 Ways to Get Help with Alcohol Recovery


I will quit drinking after my best friend’s wedding.

I will quit drinking after my upcoming cruise to the Bahamas.

I will quit drinking after New Year’s.

Are you currently penning a book of excuses? I’ve been in your shoes. I’ve conducted internet searches with the sole focus of finding data that proved I wasn’t an alcoholic. I’ve taken the “problem drinking” quizzes over and over, tweaking my responses just enough to keep me out of the danger categories. I’ve sought out movies and memes and mommy blogs that validated my evening glass (er bottle, er box) of wine. Essentially, I made the justification of my drinking being a full-time job.

I’d heard others claim that life was brighter on the other side, but that was just noise until I found my formula. Once I discovered that I could approach alcohol recovery on my terms, I decided to give it a go. There are steps you can take to help you reach that headspace. As you peruse the suggestions below, consider this fact–there will never be a “perfect” time to quit drinking. Taking action today is a viable option, but I suggest you first do the following five things:

  1. Own Up

  2. There are a lot of surveys and questionnaires and diagnostic manuals out there. Rather than fixating on labels, I suggest you answer one simple yes or no question: Does my drinking concern me? If your answer is “yes,” then something needs to change.

    Admitting that your patterns have reached troublesome proportions does not issue you a lifetime membership in the alcohol addiction club. Every drinker’s relationship with alcohol is unique. Your alcohol recovery can and should address your needs and should employ language that you are comfortable with. You never have to assign yourself with labels that steer you away from getting the help that you need.

  3. Rethink Your Internet Searches

  4. All that time you spend attempting to normalize your drinking can be channeled into finding resources that truly resonate. Whether you are a person who gleans inspiration from memoirs or self-help literature or interactive workbooks, there is inevitably a story that you can connect with.

    Once I embraced a mindset of change, I grew more willing to address the underlying issues behind my drinking. Years of denial had buried the true sources of my addiction and I came to view supportive literature as “prepping my excavation site.” Essentially, I was arming myself with the tools I would need to do the necessary digging.

  5. Enlist a Confidant (or Two, or Three, or More)

  6. Alcohol abuse is a private matter and it’s normal to feel protective of your habits. When I first determined that I needed to make changes, I was quite selective in terms of who I clued in to my decision. But by pinpointing a team of supporters, I was building accountability and entering the process without the sense that I was doing so alone. There is power in being willing and able to talk about your feelings and your desire for help.

    If you feel determined to protect your anonymity as you contemplate treatment, consider connecting with an online forum. AA, SMART, Women for Sobriety are among countless support groups that offer a digital alternative. In his book, Chasing the Scream: The First And Last Days of the War on Drugs, author Johann Hari attests, “[T]he opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.” In this digital age, the most critical step you take towards addiction recovery could be one mouse click away.

  7. Write a Letter to Your Addiction

  8. There is a power that comes from addressing your alcohol addiction directly. As you write this letter to your addiction, take an honest inventory of your life and how it has changed since alcohol or drugs entered the scene. Get real. Be raw and vulnerable when you write and you are likely to see some profound insights emerge.

    Conclude the letter with thoughts about where your relationship with your addiction is heading. Keep in mind that you are in the driver’s seat – you get to choose your own ending.

  9. Trust Me

  10. No matter how long you’ve been caught up in the throes of addiction and no matter how deeply you feel your capacity for joy has been buried, there is always hope. There is an inner-light in each of us that you simply cannot snuff out. By taking small steps forward, you are digging away at the layers that you’ve been piling on yourself over the years. You are exposing narrow tunnels that allow the light to shine through.

Like you, I was once immobilized by the negativity and denial that accompany addiction. Outwardly, I maintained appearances, but internally, I was shriveling from decay. By owning up, rallying some support, and trusting in the success stories of others, I have emerged from the darkness. I’ve written my own ending.

Dear Alcohol,

I doubt you saw this coming, but it’s over.



jen-anderson-addiction-counselorJen Anderson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), sobriety coach, former alcohol enthusiast, and writer living in Florida.

Related Articles

Addressing Patterns of Isolation in Addicts It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being. ...
Why It’s Difficult to Quit an Alcohol Addiction If you’re having trouble quitting your alcohol addiction, know that you’re not alone. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCAAD), there are almost 18 million people in...
How Does an Addiction Start? Addictions can start in many ways. There can be a variety of contributing factors, including genetics, environment and lifestyle choices. Identifying how addiction start can be useful when coming up w...
Lindsay Lohan’s Dad: ‘I Feel Responsible for Lindsay’s Addiction’ In a recent interview with The Addiction Advisor, actress Lindsay Lohan’s dad, Michael Lohan, said he feels responsible for his daughter’s drug addiction. “People ask me all the time, ‘do I feel re...
Medical Implants for Addiction Treatment Most forms of drug addiction involve multiple substances or cross-addiction. Dependency of this nature is often difficult to treat effectively with pharmaceutical drugs alone, especially since effecti...
How to Say No to a Drink If you are new on the journey of recovery, you might be struggling with the dreaded question: "Hey, do you want a drink?" In those first days of sobriety, that question can be terrifying. When you...
Being Married to an Addict In 2010, I was living with my mom, my stepdad, and my 5-year-old son, and I needed a job not only to support my son, but to help pay for the bills and to drink alcohol. My mom actually recommended tha...
15 Factors That Put Artists At Risk For Addiction All of the factors I’m about to identify incline an artist toward addiction—that is, toward heightened biological and psychological dependence on some substance or on some behavior. Each of these fact...
Global Drug Addiction: A Challenge for Scientists According to the World Health Organization, there are nearly 200 million illicit drug users in the world. Drug abuse and dependency is a global concern requiring input from scientists around the world...
Detox and Stabilizing Without Insurance As an addictions counselor, rarely a day goes by that I’m not hearing from someone (usually a family member) with an urgent request: “How do we get into rehab without insurance or money to pay?” Th...
My Experience Working with Women and Substance Abuse I want you to picture in your mind the last time you faced a difficult obstacle in your path through life. An obstacle that made you really angry because you could not move it and you did not have the...
Inpatient or Outpatient Addiction Treatment If you are suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, you may have considered or been suggested by a loved one or medical professional to seek professional addiction treatment help. There are many ad...