Alcoholism, like most other illnesses or addictions, comes in a great many shapes and forms. There is the “social” alcoholic, who will habitually visit one or more bars most nights, keeping the company of whomsoever they happen to encounter, sinking drink after drink as they “enjoy” themselves. Conversely, there is the “reclusive” alcoholic, buying their daily intake of booze from a supermarket or the likes and morosely consuming it at home alone, perhaps slouched in front of the TV. In a similar fashion, we have the everyday alcoholic and the binge drinking alcoholic, the latter type perhaps remaining religiously sober throughout the working week while spending the better part of their weekends drinking themselves into oblivion.
In order to tackle their addiction, alcoholics first have to look for the root cause of it. Depression may be the prime contributary factor, or loneliness, or grief. It may even be that it is simple boredom and a perceived lack of anything with which to occupy their time or attention that leads the unfortunate to seek solace or comfort from a bottle. Whatever the reason may be, when it has been identified, there is always a manner in which it can be tackled, with or without the assistance of a family member, friend or qualified health professional.
There is another aspect of the problem which has to be addresed, however, if a victim of alcoholism has ever again to lead some form of normal social life. That is the simple habit of drinking to excess and avoiding those situations with which they most associate alcohol consumption. In the same way as a person attempting to quit smoking has to avoid those most tempting moments in their day, an alcoholic too has to examine and accordingly amend their routine. It may be something incredibly simple such as taking a different route home from work of an evening to avoid their regular bar, into which they are so often tempted; it may be something considerably more complex. Whatever it happens to be, this too has to be tackled, just as much as the cause of the problem itself.
If an alcoholic follows these procedures, there is no reason why – at some future time – they cannot once again enjoy the social pleasures of alcohol in moderation. After all, reformed binge eaters don’t spend the remainder of their lives avoiding food! It will almost certainly require a lengthy period of total abstention and a lot of pain and effort but what will eventually and effectively prove to be a re-education can in the end be made to pay handsome dividends.