Recovery: The Early Abstinence Stage

Recovery: The Early Abstinence Stage

If you have accepted that you have an alcohol addiction or alcohol use disorder and have decided to get rehab treatment, your next step will then be to start the early abstinence stage.

This stage is considered the hardest – you will be faced with many challenges that make it difficult to focus on how a sober life is the best option. On top of this, you will face tough physical and mental withdrawal symptoms.

How Does Alcohol Rehab Treatment Begin?

If you have joined a specialist rehab treatment programme or centre, or are receiving outpatient professional help, you will work with and be cared for by addiction specialists, psychologists, councillors, social workers and nurses.

In this early abstinence stage, they will work with you to give you an understanding of the withdrawal you are experiencing, identify what your triggers to drink are, and how you can manage them. These skills you learn will help you cope with your addiction for the rest of your life.

Any physical harm will also be assessed in this stage – which can be caused by heavy drinking and poor nutrition. You will most likely need your magnesium, zinc, B, C, and D vitamins, as well and your omega3 healthy fats to be restored.

People who suffer from alcohol use disorders often have a very poor nutritional state. This not only impacts your physical health but also your mental health. For this reason, poor nutrition can contribute to resisting alcohol in recovery. An important part of success is establishing a good, healthy diet which makes up for the empty calories found in alcoholic drinks.

What Will a Councillor Teach me at Rehab?

Your appointed councillor will help you understand the health affects your substance of choice can cause, and how the withdrawal will affect you. They will also help you identify your behaviours that can be considered addictive; like how much time and effort you put into drinking or sourcing drugs.

Your councillor’s goal is to teach you about the risks and how dangerous your current lifestyle is, so you can start to make more informed healthier choices for your life.

They will also cover:

  • What triggers you to drink – such as seeing certain people, or spotting your favourite wine glass on the counter.
  • How else you can fill your time now that you are not drinking or taking drugs.
  • Managing cravings – help you figure out the best coping strategies for you.
  • How to deal with social pressures.
  • The use of other drugs, and encourage complete abstinence.
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