Is Alcohol Addiction a Curable Disease?
Ozempic and Wegovy are two medications that have been making news headlines since 2021 for various reasons. Both medications are normally prescribed to patients whose management of diabetes hinges upon weight control, but medical research suggests they can also alleviate strong symptoms of alcohol use disorder (AUD). Clinical trials are pending on this matter. If the United States Food and Drug Administration approves them for AUD treatment, they’ll join acamprosate, disulfiram, naltrexone, and other medications formulated for this purpose. While pharmaceutical approaches for the treatment of AUD can be effective to a certain extent, they don’t provide a cure. No medication or single intervention can cure AUD, but this doesn’t stop the majority of alcoholics from recovering.
Why Chronic Alcoholism Has No Cure
AUD is a complex condition that overlaps the realms of physiology, behavior, and neurochemistry. It’s a condition that can easily become chronic, which means it often requires ongoing management and various strategies for some patients.
A cure would be akin to a one-time achievement, and this isn’t what recovery is about. Recovering from substance abuse requires embarking on a journey with two hidden obstacles along the way: lapse and relapse. The only logical way to cure AUD would be to eliminate the obstacles, but we know that’s not possible in this world we’ve developed.
How Recovery & Cure Aren’t the Same
Despite the lack of a cure for AUD, most people who fall into problematic drinking and even substance abuse recover on their own, often without any medications or the help of an interventionist. Encinitas residents who struggle with AUD may be reassured by the fact that studies conducted at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts among Vietnam War veterans who fell into AUD after coming home show that most of them stopped drinking without even attending Alcoholics Anonymous.
These are examples of short journeys to recovery, but we need to think about the rest of the alcoholics who cannot overcome their condition without treatment. Recovery isn’t just about overcoming limitations. It’s also about recognizing and building on strengths, and this is something we can’t associate with a cure.
How Alcoholics Gently Accept There’s No Cure
There’s no reason for AUD patients to feel discouraged by the incurable nature of their condition. Medically speaking, there’s no cure. However, recovery is always there for alcoholics to embrace, and many of them do it admirably. Some people in recovery will tell you they’re alcoholics even if they have strictly abstained for decades. These are AUD patients who graciously accept their condition has no cure, but they happily spend their lives avoiding relapse through positive lifestyles.
How Sober Coaching Augments Recovery
If you can form a lifelong commitment to recovery, this will be the closest you can get to a cure. An important step in the journey to recovery involves learning how to live as a sober individual. While some AUD patients equate sobriety with militant abstinence, this isn’t the case. A sober lifestyle includes crucial aspects of mental health, such as the effective management of triggers, cravings, and negative emotions.
Sober lifestyle coaching is sometimes described as what we should all learn before getting caught in the AUD trap. It’s a smart treatment strategy for individuals who wish to understand the mechanisms of finding fulfillment in life without drinking to excess.
For strength-based support with addiction recovery in Encinitas, CA, reach out to the trained recovery coaches at Sober Lifestyle Coaching. Our goal is to offer our clients maximum recovery support, especially in the first fragile days or weeks of early recovery. If you’re looking for extra addiction recovery support so you don’t risk relapse when you head into the danger zones, we’ll work with you to put together a game plan to keep you safe and sober as you accomplish your goals. To learn more about how we can help you or someone you love, call us today.