The reason binge drinking is dangerous is because alcohol is highly addictive, with 15 million Americans meeting the criteria for an alcohol misuse disorder annually. AA, a peer-led support group, is one of the most common support systems used by those in recovery. But how does AA help you maintain sobriety? Alcohol is one of the most popular psychoactive substances in the United States. While many people drink responsibly, alcohol is commonly abused. Binge drinking, which occurs when a woman consumes 4 or more drinks or a man consumes 5 or more drinks within 2 hours, is rampant. In fact, 1 out of 6 adults binges drinks at least 4 times a month, and 26.45% of adults binge drink at least once a month.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that causes your brain to release more GABA than it should. GABA is a type of pleasure-inducing neurotransmitter that creates positive and calming feelings and emotions. Unfortunately, alcohol also lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment. Drinking in large amounts can also cause:
- Alcohol poisoning
- Blackouts and memory loss
- Liver damage
- Increased likelihood of engaging in fights and arguments
While intoxication is pleasurable, alcohol causes a comedown effect. When intoxication ends, you can be left with a sudden depletion of GABA, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and urges to drink. If you have an underlying mental health condition, alcohol can aggravate your symptoms. Having a mental health disorder can make alcohol an easy way to self-medicate your symptoms but drinking will ultimately destabilize your mental health. Since drinking large amounts can damage your liver, as your liver can only process one serving of alcohol every hour and a half, abusing alcohol can cause serious medical problems. Alcohol also has the potential to create a powerful physical dependency, which can make sobriety difficult to achieve without help.
How Does AA Help During Recovery?
So, how does AA help during recovery? AA is a recovery-focused 12 step group that creates a supportive environment focused on helping members maintain sobriety. Many inpatient and outpatient alcohol abuse programs and treatment centers utilize 12 step recovery principles and host AA meetings. Because AA has helped countless people successfully find sobriety after struggling with alcoholism, it’s an important way to strengthen your recovery. If you’re wondering how does AA help with cravings and triggers, the simple answer is AA provides a strong group of sober people who understand what it takes to beat alcoholism. AA allows you to connect with a sponsor who can help you navigate your sobriety. Since all members previously battled a drinking problem, AA is a valuable resource. Another thing to remember when wondering how does AA help with recovery is that it creates a safe and confidential place to express troubling thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Having a sober network creates an excellent forum to share your recovery achievements and struggles. Since AA is a national group, meetings are accessible nearly anywhere in the country. As a result, this makes it easy to incorporate AA into your recovery. During alcoholism, it’s likely that only a few of your friends were sober. AA provides a great place to meet new friends who are also dedicated to avoiding drugs and alcohol.
Connecting with a Treatment Center
When you’re struggling with a drinking problem or alcoholism, it can feel embarrassing, frustrating, and confusing. Having a strong desire to quit is oftentimes not enough to achieve sobriety. However, treatment and groups like AA can make recovery possible. Wondering how does AA help during recovery from alcoholism may mean that you’re ready to take the first step in the recovery process and reach out for help. If you’re ready to start treatment, contact us today at 1.713.528.3709.