Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Can Recovering Addicts Drink Alcohol

Sale And Supply Of Alcohol Act 2012

Recovering from alcohol addiction: Joshua’s story

2012’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act was aimed at improving New Zealand’s drinking culture and reducing the harm caused by excessive drinking.

NZ Drug Foundation

According to the New Zealand Drug Foundation it’s New Zealand’s most widely consumed drug, with 19.5% of adult Kiwis drinking in a way that causes harm.

The act regulates trading hours, consent around supplying alcohol to minors and even restricts supermarket displays to a single area.

But it falls short when it comes to the balance of power between the big dogs and people like us, which is why Allan is beefing it up.

“This year I’ll be introducing the part one phase approach – going to look at all the procedural barriers,” she told Q+A in November.

That will happen in two stages.

Many People Decide That They Want To Quit Drinking For One Reason Or Another

For some people, it is health or financial reasons, and some just dont like how alcohol makes them feel. For others, however, quitting becomes a necessity. If you are an alcoholic, you cant control how much alcohol you drink, and it starts to affect everyone and everything in your life.

Rehab Costs & Options for Alcohol | Drugs | Other addictions

However, if you have managed to get your problem drinking under control, you may start to question why you need to be sober all the time. A question that pops up all the time, is can alcoholics ever casually drink again? This especially sounds like the ideal, dream scenario for now-sober alcoholics if they still hold positive associations with their drinking days.

While there are people that can go back to casual drinking after a period of sobriety, most people that have succeeded in doing so were perhaps not alcoholics in the first place. To get back to casual drinking, one needs to be able to exhibit control over their drinking.

This is something that alcoholics and addicts cannot do. So, the answer, if you are truly an alcoholic, is that abstinence is the only way.

Are You In Recovery From An Opiate Addiction Wondering Can Opiate Addicts Drink Alcohol

If youre in recovery, you might be wondering can opiate addicts drink alcohol? After all, its common for many people to believe that having a few drinks socially with friends is harmless. However, alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that is commonly abused simply because it is legally available and socially acceptable. Its also an addictive substance that could put a recovering opiate addict at risk.

Some recovering addicts may spend weeks or months becoming clean and sober, only to develop a severe alcohol problem. Effectively, they replace one addiction for another.

Others may simply drink alcohol to the point that their inhibitions are reduced, their judgment becomes impaired, and they end up relapsing back into a self-destructive pattern of opiate abuse while under the influence of alcohol.

So can recovering drug addicts drink alcohol safely at all?

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Your Successful Recovery Is Up To You

Ultimately, successful recovery is up to you. Your goal of recovery should be to live a healthy and clean life. Even if you have friends who take medications a few times a week and seem to live a normal, healthy life, doesnt mean you can do the same.

Non-addicts dont have the same chemistry as you do. It doesnt matter if your substance abuse created this chemistry or if you were born with it, you need to realize you possess it. This doesnt mean you have to live in pain or with allergies. It just means you have to make wise decisions about the medications you take for these conditions.

It is absolutely possible to live a clean life and reach your goals of happiness. But, you do have to work hard and stay away from anything that will cause you to relapse, and that includes refraining from certain medications. Your body is still learning how to function off your substance of choice and you are healing from emotional challenges as well.

So, before you reach for those pills, even if they are natural remedies, make sure you read the labels and ask about their ingredients. If for some reason, you absolutely have to take a specific medication that could threaten your recovery, you and your doctor can work out a plan on how youll take the medication and youll be watched carefully by your addiction specialist and your medical doctor.

If you are in recovery for an addiction and have additional questions about medications, contact us here at JourneyPure At The River.

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Introducing Or Substituting Alcohol For Drugs Post

Alcohol Addiction and Rehab [Infographic]

Several rehabilitation programs over the years have experimented with allowing alcohol in lieu of drugs either as a substitution or as a reward for successful recovery from drugs.

One group tried to allow moderate drinking. They advocated working from abstinence to moderate, reasonable use. Their goal was to teach members how to deal with stress that causes one abuse. Showing that they do have the power to control their addictive tendencies. In their practice, some people did choose to stay abstinent. Others did not.

Another group actually allowed drinking privileges as a reward for abstaining from drugs. The results from either approach didnt work. In fact, in the second group, it was a disaster. Even group facilitators proceeded to drastically misuse alcohol.

There is another group that advocates substance management that involves substituting a less harmful drug for another, such as alcohol or marijuana. This has its own problems. For starters, some of these less harmful substances are illegal. Also, people may view it as a cure-all and not realize that while under the influence of these less harmful drugs, they are still susceptible to poor decision-making such as driving drunk or drugged. Most of all, this sort of approach doesnt allow a person to learn proper coping techniques that empower them to refrain from giving in to substances and addictive tendencies.

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What Are Treatment Options For Alcoholism

Treating alcohol addiction can be complex and challenging. In order for treatment to work, the person with an alcohol addiction must want to get sober. You cant force them to stop drinking if they arent ready. Success depends on the persons desire to get better.

The recovery process for alcoholism is a lifetime commitment. There isnt a quick fix and it involves daily care. For this reason, many people say alcohol addiction is never cured.

This Review Suggested That There Is More Support For The Drinking

Drinking-induced Relapse Studies:

For example, drinking was shown to be related to subsequent cocaine and other drug use both during and after treatment for the drug use disorder. Drinking after cocaine use disorder treatment was associated with worse cocaine outcomes 6 months later. On the other hand, alcohol abstinence during cocaine treatment is found to improve drug use outcomes over time.

Substitution Hypothesis:

The authors did not find support for the hypothesis that participants drink in order to provide an alternative coping strategy in place of their primary drug use disorder. There is little evidence that participants that are doing well in drug use disorder treatment are at higher risk for increasing their drinking as a substitute coping mechanism.


This is similar to a study reviewed in a previous RRI Bulletin. In that study authors used a large, representative sample to show that, for individuals with a substance use disorder, remission from that disorder reduces the risk of developing a new onset substance use disorder by 50% compared to individuals not in remission.

In other words, resolving one substance use problem makes it less likely they will develop another.

Although the reasons for this relationship are uncertain, it is possible that individuals acquired skills helping them resolve one problem that they could apply to making sure they did not develop another problem.



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Cutting Back Vs Quitting Alcohol Altogether

Whether or not you can successfully cut back on your drinking depends on the severity of your drinking problem. If youre an alcoholicwhich, by definition, means you arent able to control your drinkingits best to try to stop drinking entirely. But if youre not ready to take that step, or if you dont have an alcohol abuse problem but want to cut back for personal or health reasons, the following tips can help:

Set your drinking goal. Choose a limit for how much youll drink, but make sure your limit is not more than one drink a day if youre a woman, two drinks a day if youre a manand try to have some days each week when you wont drink alcohol at all. Write your drinking goal down and keep it where you will frequently see it, such as on your phone or taped to your refrigerator.

Keep a record of your drinking to help you reach your goal. For 3 to 4 weeks, write down every time you have a drink and how much you drink. Reviewing the results, you may be surprised at your weekly drinking habits.

Cut down drinking at home. Try to limit or remove alcohol from your home. Its much easier to avoid drinking if you dont keep temptations around.

Drink slower. When you drink, sip slowly and take a break of 30 minutes or one hour between drinks. Or drink soda, water, or juice between alcoholic drinks. Drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea, so make sure you eat food when you drink.

How Drugs And Alcohol Are Related To Each Other

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Drugs and alcohol are both related to each other in the sense that they both give your brain the dopamine high effect.

Even though their mechanism of action may be different, at the end of the day, the effect is similar.

Both of them affect the common neurological reward systems in the brain. Whether you take drugs or drink alcohol, you are affecting the function and chemistry of your brain by letting it release excess dopamine into your system.

If you are wondering what dopamine does, it is what produces the feeling pleasure to which your brain gets addicted, thus causes addiction.

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Drug Rehabilitation And Alcohol Addiction

Results from a study conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse show that more than 67% of individuals who started drinking before age 15 later abused illegal drugs. Only less than 4% of people who never drank alcohol went to drug dependency.

The study further revealed that children who begin drinking before age 15 are 50 times more likely to abuse cocaine than those who dont.

In addition, the following risk factors increase the likelihood of alcohol abuse by those who have gone through successful drug rehabilitation:

  • Family history of alcohol abuse
  • Childhood trauma
  • Emotional trauma
  • Psychiatric conditions occurring with substance abuse
  • Alcohol abuse before drug dependency
  • History of simultaneous use of drugs and alcohol

Overall, an individual who abuses alcohol is at greater risk of using at least one other substance, like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine.

Prolonged drug and alcohol addiction also increases tolerance, leading the body to consume more to achieve the same pleasurable effects.

Be Honest About Your Recovery

Being open and honest about your recovery can help make difficult situations easier to manage. If you run into friends who are actively using, tell them about your commitment to sobriety.

The conversation may help them understand your mindset and give them an opportunity to change the way they behave around you. It will let them know that you want to leave substance abuse in your past and be a new and better person in the future.

You should also try to gauge your friends responses when you tell them about your recovery. Are they supportive, dismissive or confused? Their responses not only tell you their feelings about your sobriety, but they can also help you judge whether you can continue the friendship in the future.

It may be possible to remain friends with people who are not sober if they support your recovery. Friends who are supportive of your sobriety can help you by not using drugs or alcohol in front of you and by keeping you away from environments that might trigger drug cravings.

If its obvious that someone is not supportive of your recovery, it may be time for you to re-evaluate your relationship with that person. While it is tough to leave friends in the past, it is sometimes necessary if youre committed to maintaining your sobriety and long-term goals for a healthier life.

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Learn To Manage Stress

At some point in your recovery, youâll feel stressed out, whether itâs major stress or minor stress . When things like this happen, find a sober friend or loved one you can talk to for support. And keep your schedule loose enough that you have time for group meetings and other things that can help you through rough stretches.

Keeping your body healthy will help your mind stay healthy and positive during recovery. So make time for exercise, eat a balanced diet, and get a healthy amount of sleep.

Studies On The Use Of Alcohol After Drug Addiction Recovery

Breaking Addiction

Several studies over the years have been on the use of alcohol as a substituent or as a reward for a successful recovery from drug addiction.

Two groups were selected for this study.

Group A of addiction recovery subjects was allowed to take moderate to no alcohol. The goal was to teach them how to cope with the stress that causes one abuse, and that the subjects have control over their choices. As a result, some people abstained from the use of alcohol while some did not.

Group B was awarded alcohol drinking as a reward for successfully completing their drug abuse therapy. The results in this group were disastrous as everybody started the misuse of alcohol.

This shows that if you take a sip from alcohol in recovery, there is a high chance that you will fall back into the addiction game.

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How Do I Stop Drinking

Overcoming an addiction to alcohol can be a long and bumpy road. At times, it may even feel impossible. But its not. If youre ready to stop drinking and willing to get the support you need, you can recover from alcoholism and alcohol abuseno matter how heavy your drinking or how powerless you feel. And you dont have to wait until you hit rock bottom you can make a change at any time. Whether you want to quit drinking altogether or cut down to healthier levels, these guidelines can help you get started on the road to recovery today.

Most people with alcohol problems do not decide to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking habits overnight. Recovery is usually a more gradual process. In the early stages of change, denial is a huge obstacle. Even after admitting you have a drinking problem, you may make excuses and drag your feet. Its important to acknowledge your ambivalence about stopping drinking. If youre not sure if youre ready to change or youre struggling with the decision, it can help to think about the costs and benefits of each choice.

Build A Support Network

Lean on close friends and family for support, even if your relationships arenât what they used to be. Think about going to counseling or family therapy to help with that and to deal with other personal issues.

Have some sober friends you can invite as your plus-one to a social event like a party or wedding. And stay in touch with your sponsor and call them if youâre feeling anxious or uncomfortable.

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Once An Addict Always An Addict

This statement resounds with people in 12-step recovery where addiction is typically experienced as a chronic, relapsing disorder. Still, research that followed heavy drinkers and drug users over time found that most people who met the standards used to define addiction at one time in their lives no longer did later in life. And that most recovered without attending meetings or treatment.

Even more, conflicting with popular beliefs, is that many of these people solved their problems with moderation rather than abstinence. Examples are former heroin addicts who drink without getting drunk and occasionally smoke marijuana.


Some people might say that people who recover from substance addictions on their own werent real addicts in the first place. But the course of any persons addiction and recovery are completely unpredictable.

Some of the people who seem to be the deepest into addiction are able to turn it around completely without help. Likewise, there are some people whose addictions seem less severe who are never able to get better. Although a more severe addiction is linked to a reduced ability to moderate use successfully, the relationship between the two is far from certain.

Can The Brain Heal Itself After Addiction

Alcohol/Drug Addiction, Treatment & Recovery | David Streem, MD

The brain is a remarkable organ, capable of incredible breakthroughs and life-changing ideas and actions. Yet because of its delicate structure and chemistry, the brain is also highly vulnerable to addiction.

Fortunately, researchers have found that brains that have been harmed by addiction do have the potential to unlearn addictive behaviors, although the risk for addiction never magically disappears.

Researchers have studied several different ways that the brain has adjusted back to a baseline level during and after addiction treatment. A 2013 study published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors found that incorporating mindfulness and meditation into addiction treatment could lessen the risk of relapse. The study also indicates that brain pathways that can trigger relapse may be retrained by mindfulness practice.

Another study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that individuals who chronically used methamphetamines had lower numbers of dopamine proteins than individuals who did not use the drug. As a result, methamphetamine users frequently suffered challenges with movement and memory and may have been at a higher risk for Parkinsons disease. Researchers found that 12 months of recovery led to an increased number of dopamine proteins These findings suggest that the brain can begin to heal itself in the aftermath of drug use.

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