Wine is an alcoholic beverage, and as such, it is possible to get addicted to it. Known in the medical field as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), it affects nearly 14.5 million Americans aged 12 and above. Of this number, an estimated 414,000 of them are adolescents (ages 12 to 17). This data is based on the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
AUD is a prevalent problem, and drinking wine excessively is one way to get this disorder. If you happen to have AUD, fear not, because there is hope for you. Read further to find out the range of treatments you can go through.
How can I quit drinking wine?
It’s not that simple. If you have AUD, and you just stop drinking wine all of a sudden, you will get withdrawal symptoms. These are annoying, unpleasant, and sometimes painful, and they may compel you to go back to drinking just to feel relieved. Withdrawal symptoms are why most attempts to quit drinking on your own often fail.
AUD is solved best with professional help. Talk to your primary care doctor or a recovery specialist to discover your options. There are many treatments you can undergo, and a treatment plan can be customized to meet your needs.
What treatments are available for wine addiction?
Typically, the first step in treating AUD is medically assisted detox. The aim of this procedure is to rid your body of all traces of alcohol, as well as help you manage the withdrawal symptoms that come along. Detox allows you to reduce your intake of wine progressively while making it as safe and tolerable for you as possible.
Medications may be prescribed to you to help with the detox process. Three commonly used drugs for alcohol rehab are disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate. These drugs are not addictive, and you will only need to take them while you’re detoxing.
Disulfiram triggers unpleasant symptoms, such as diarrhea and skin flushing, when you drink alcohol. In effect, these symptoms will discourage you from drinking wine while you’re on this medication.
Naltrexone has two modes of action. First, it blocks the receptors in your brain that alcohol molecules bind to, preventing its pleasurable effects. Second, it reduces your cravings for alcohol. These effects make naltrexone highly effective in curbing your urges to drink.
Acamprosate is another drug that reduces alcohol cravings. It’s usually prescribed after you have quit to help you avoid relapse.
While these medications are effective, they will not cure AUD. But they do help a lot in managing the disorder and helping you recover from it.
Aside from medications, recovering from AUD usually involves a number of behavioral therapies. You will work with mental health professionals to address the causes of your drinking, as well as to develop new routines to take the place of habitual drinking.
One of these therapies is known as CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT teaches you to find out what emotions and circumstances trigger you to drink wine heavily. Additionally, with CBT, you will learn healthy coping strategies that will steer your thoughts away from alcohol. Compulsive wine drinking is often a response to stress, so CBT will help you create new ways to deal with stressful situations in life.
Another treatment is called motivational enhancement therapy. From the name itself, it gives you extra motivation to quit drinking and live a sober life again. In this procedure, you and a therapist work together to devise a plan to change your drinking habits. Then, you will perform activities that boost your confidence and motivation to stick to that plan. These would include incentives for staying away from wine for a sustained length of time. The incentives empower you to keep on the path to sobriety.
Brief interventions may also be necessary. These are short counseling sessions, which can be one-on-one with the therapist or in a small group setting. The group usually comprises your immediate family and/or close friends. In an intervention, the therapist will tell you about your drinking behavior and how it affects the people around you. Then, the therapist will give you hints on how to change your behavior as well as options for treatment. He will also work with you to set goals and deadlines to encourage you to take action.
Last but not least, there is family and marital counseling. This therapy involves your spouse and immediate family in your journey to recovery. The counselor would educate them on the best ways to help you deal with your drinking habits. When your family gets involved, studies have shown that recovery outcomes are a lot better.
How effective are these treatments for wine addiction?
Evidence shows that these treatments for AUD are quite helpful. Recovery becomes even more successful if you yourself have the discipline and the drive to live an alcohol-free lifestyle. If you are not that committed to recovery, it is possible to relapse (go back to drinking again).
Relapse may also happen to highly committed individuals. Don’t treat it as a failure of recovery, though. Instead, see it as a temporary setback. Keep going, and keep trying to live a sober life.
Recovering from wine addiction is a long process, and it takes more than your own efforts to succeed. You need help from your family, friends, and colleagues as well. The environment you live in must encourage you to be alcohol-free as much as possible.
You can ask your family or the people you live with to help you in your recovery journey. One thing you can request is for them to avoid bringing bottles of any alcoholic drink home. Also, you could ask to remove anything that reminds you of your old drinking habits, such as wine glasses or empty wine bottles. You may also want to avoid spending time with people who are fond of drinking.
With all the treatment options available, wine addiction is never hopeless. Even if you have a severe case, you can still regain control of your life with the proper treatments.