5 Biggest Challenges to Recovery from Alcoholism

These days, alcoholism has become an epidemic that many addicts feel they cannot overcome. Yet by attaining more knowledge about challenges to recovery, addicts can arm themselves with the information necessary to become sober and lead a fulfilling life. Below you will find five of the biggest challenges to recovery from alcoholism:

1. Denial.

The first step to recovering from an alcohol addiction is openly acknowledging that the problem exists. Yet in many cases, alcohol addicts are not willing to take this transformative, monumental step. Instead, they will often make excuses in their mind or recite statements like “I can stop any time I want.” By continually operating in this sphere of denial, alcohol addicts preclude themselves from feeling the need to devise an action plan that would put them on the path to permanent recovery.

2. Detoxification.

As many addiction recovery experts know, alcoholism is a physiological addiction that involves the addict becoming used to the drug existing within the body. When a former addict begins the process of detoxification, his or her body will almost always react to the absence of alcohol with a plethora of mentally and physically taxing detox symptoms such as lethargy and irritation. In many cases, alcohol addicts would prefer to go back to their world of consuming alcohol as opposed to completing the detoxification process as a result of the fact that withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable.

3. Lack of Support from Family and Friends.

Although some alcohol addicts receive a great deal of support from family and friends, some do not. There are many reasons why an addict’s family and friends might choose to dissociate from their recovering loved one, including anger or bitterness regarding the negative impact that alcoholism may have had on everyone. If a recovering addict feels that she or he is not receiving support and unconditional love from family and friends, this will oftentimes give rise to a relapse into the world of addiction.

4. Former Social Networks.

One of the biggest challenges that individuals face when they attempt to recover from alcoholism is a refusal to give up their former social networks. Typically, these social networks are comprised of individuals who helped the recovering addict engage in the unwanted behavior. And while recovering addicts may recognize that ending relationships with these people is important and necessary, they oftentimes find it difficult or impossible to do. This can be the case for many reasons, including the fact that many enablers may have still been a somehow positive light in the addict’s world.

5. Asking For Help.

In many cases, the biggest challenge that an individual recovering from alcoholism will have is asking others for help. Oftentimes, the addict may feel as if she or he is a “problem” and that asking other people to spend resources that facilitate the recovery process will be annoying. In fact, some addicts may feel that asking for help will result in them being alienated from their friends and family members. Yet asking for help is exactly what recovering alcoholics need to do in order to get better. No person is an island. Addiction didn’t begin in isolation, and recovery should not either.


Although addiction to alcohol can seem like an insurmountable reality to grapple with, solutions exist. If you or a loved one are currently struggling with addiction to alcohol, call our hotline right away for answers or guidance toward recovery, or contact a medical professional immediately so that you can receive the professional care you need.

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