According to the NIAA, over 80% adults 18 and over in the U.S. have tried alcohol at some point in their lives. When it comes to those with a diagnosable alcohol use disorder, there are over 15 million people with one. Each year there are approximately 88,000 deaths related to alcohol abuse. And every year almost a third of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related. These statistics are shocking, and rightfully so, but what is even more shocking is that these deaths are preventable, and treatment and recovery can stop it.
Addiction has long been thought of in terms of being an illness. It functions in many of the same ways as an illness, and treatment works to help put the disease in remission. Recovery happens every year for thousands upon thousands of people, and it can happen for anyone that uses all the tools available to them.
Treatment strategies for alcohol use disorder should be tailored to each individual, with specific goals and targets to meet. This should be one of the first steps in the treatment process. Having clear identifiable and agreed upon goals is a must; after all, how do you know if you get where you are going if you do not know where that is?
As far as therapies go, there are many choices available, and therapists will usually find a style they are good at and work within that framework. Cognitive behavioral therapies are well tested for treating things such as depression and anxiety and used often for alcoholism as well. This involves identifying unhelpful, unhealthy, or unrealistic thoughts, and working actively to challenge and in a way debate and replace them with more helpful and accurate thoughts. It also involves identifying and changing behaviors that are also unhelpful or unhealthy, replacing them with behaviors that are healthy.
Another choice is mindfulness-based therapy, which involves some of the same strategies as cognitive therapy, but focuses also on tolerating distress, paying attention to oneself and reactions, being mindful and open to all options and choices, not just the same ones that keep being repeated, and acceptance of what is and is not within a person’s power to change.
Alcohol Monitoring in Recovery
Remote Alcohol Monitoring has become a popular treatment strategy for those dealing with Alcoholism. Recent innovations like BACtrack View have brought that tool within reach of anyone who loves a person with an Alcohol Use Disorder. Monitoring can provide a variety of benefits in the treatment process.
Remote alcohol monitoring devices can be used to detect when a person has ingested any amount of alcohol. This helps provide accountability for those who are struggling with sobriety and gives them a very strong reason to stay sober. These can be linked to alert anyone that your sobriety has been compromised. Using a remote alcohol monitoring device will also help you prove your sobriety when others around you are doubting it.
A remote monitoring device can provide the incentive needed to stay sober. Motivation plays a vital role in successful recovery from alcohol addiction, and while there may be many motivating factors to stay sober in your life, it can be especially motivating to have to report to friends and loved ones on your sobriety. It can be very motivating when your family, your counselor, your sponsor, or worse your probation or parole officer will know immediately if you have something to drink.
Peace of Mind
One final benefit is to the loved ones of those with an alcohol problem. Alcohol Monitoring provides some relief and certainty in the knowledge that there is no drinking going on in secret. Secrecy and lies are some of the foundations of an alcoholic family and are often the first things that happen when a person succumbs to addiction. This will help build trust and stability again. When a loved one is one of the people that the remote sobriety monitor reports to, it gives them a sense of peace and control that they likely have not had in a long time. Most devices will share a photo verified blood alcohol content result with anyone in the system, giving all of them, friends, family, the courts, the opportunity to build trust in the alcoholic again.
Alcoholics Anonymous has many wonderful slogans, one of which is, “This too shall pass.” Stressful things in life will happen. Sad things will happen. Cravings and thoughts of using will happen. That does not mean you have to use again. Alcohol use disorder is an addiction that damages and kills thousands every year. Learning to manage your illness and embrace your recovery can literally save your life. With some thoughtful planning and the use of coping skills and devices available to you, you can overcome the urges and cravings and have a successful and healthy sobriety.
Using a sobriety monitoring device can be part of that treatment planning, and BACtrack can help provide you with the motivation, accountability, and security in your sobriety that you and others need.