Alcoholism is a disease. It is an incurable disease. This is the cold, hard truth. Many who have waged a war against this horrific addiction have lost many battles due to simply believing that time spent in rehab or achieving ninety days of sobriety provided them with a suit of armour for the outside world. This is just sadly not the case.
Ask any recovering alcoholic, no matter how long they have been sober for, if they still long for a drink every day. I have known many in my life, so I can say with great certainty that their answer would be an emphatic yes. They will openly admit to you that from the first day of their last drink until the day they pass through the gates of Heaven, they will consider themselves a “recovering” alcoholic, not a “cured” alcoholic. They will tell you that if they were to give into the temptation they face on a daily basis and take even a sip of beer, liquor or whiskey, they would surely fall prey to the demons that controlled and ruined their lives in the past. It is for this very reason that once they begin the road to recovery, the alcoholic changes their environment completely, including their friends and social atmosphere. This is perhaps the most vital determining factor of their long term success.
Many studies have been conducted and it has been shown that only a small percentage of alcoholics drink alone. A majority of those who posess a drinking problem have a tendancy to drink in the social setting, whether that be at friends’ home or in a bar. If they are surrounded by people, then their problem becomes progressively worse and their life will ultimately tailspin out of control.
There are treatment options however. The most important element for the alcoholic has to be a supportive group of people in their lives, whether that be family, friends or both. The road to recovery will be long and filled with emotional upheavals. They will desperately need many rocks to lean on while they rebuild their lives and resist tempation.
In addition to the support that family and friends have to offer, Alcoholics Anonymous is the most renowned treatment option for anyone who may be attempting to live a life of sobriety after a life of drunkeness. The difference between these two lives is like the difference between the sun and the moon. It takes time to adjust your eyes to the light of a new day after having lived in darkness and having someone to talk to when your temptation is at its greatest, especially someone who has fought the same battle and won, can be the ultimate lifesaver.
Regardless of the treatment options that are chosen and how effective they may be, the only true deciding success factor is the alcoholic themselves. They will always be an alcoholic. They will always face daily temptation. Most importantly though, they most always keep in their minds that the only way to remain a recovering alcoholic is to never touch their lips to alcohol again. Socially or not, it is simply a path that leads to destruction.