There are many misunderstandings about alcohol recovery including that alcoholism can be cured simply by reducing or controlling your drinking. While there isn’t a cure, there is a solution. Here’s what you need to know…

“Everybody drinks”. “I’m fine”. “I can quit if I want to”. “I’m not hurting anyone”. “This is the last time”. “If you had my job/family/marriage, you’d drink too”. “I don’t have a problem, you do”. “I don’t need rehab”. “I’m too busy for treatment”.


These are all common excuses used by alcoholics to protect their drinking, and denial is dangerous. An alcoholic is powerless over alcohol. They have a mental obsession to take that first drink and a body that can’t ‘normally’ take it, because the first drink sets off a craving for more. When it comes to alcohol, they have lost the power of choice.

What people get wrong about recovering from alcoholism

  1. Alcoholics can choose to stop drinking

There are many common myths about alcohol recovery and the first is that an alcoholic can simply choose to stop drinking. Unfortunately, no amount of willpower is enough to stop an alcoholic from drinking. When alcoholics put alcohol into their bodies, they have a different physical response to normal drinkers. Drinking alcohol sets off a compulsion for more and despite their best intentions, promises made and the consequences of taking a drink, once they have alcohol in their system, all bets are off.  

For families and loved ones, this phenomenon is baffling and often heart-breaking. People who can simply take alcohol or leave it, struggle to understand why the alcoholic can’t.

Visit our Family & Friends page to learn about Addiction and the Brain in a series of online lectures by Dr. Stephen Jurd, specialist in addiction psychiatry and Chairman of Sydney Retreat.


  1. Detox is all you need to stay sober

For many people struggling with alcohol, they often search out tips for alcohol detox at home and try to quit drinking on their own. Some will stay dry for days, weeks or even months, but inevitably if they are alcoholic, the time will come when they pick up alcohol again. Simply removing alcohol from your system, or stopping drinking is just the beginning of the alcohol recovery process. Detox is not a quick fix for alcohol abuse disorder.

Our experience shows that a holistic approach rooted in the 12 Step principles of Alcoholics Anonymous introduces people to the tools, coping mechanisms and ongoing support to stay sober and helps set people up on the path to long term sobriety.


  1. Alcoholism can be cured in 30 days

There are many alcohol addiction treatment myths to debunk. The first is that there is a quick fix to curing alcoholism. The truth is that the alcohol recovery process lasts well beyond thirty days.

So, how does alcohol rehab work? Our 30-Day residential alcohol rehab programme allows for ongoing support through what can often be a crucial time in the recovery journey. We help guests learn the tools required to live sober and provide them with a solid foundation in recovery. The first 30 Days at The Retreat NZ involves group and one-on-one sessions with DAAPANZ registered AOD Practitioners, attending local A.A. meetings to help establish support networks and working through our programme which is based on the 12 Step principles of Alcoholics Anonymous.     


  1. All my problems will be solved once I stop drinking

 While putting down the drink and living sober has a huge positive impact on the alcoholic and all those around them, it doesn’t mean that things magically get better overnight. The alcohol recovery process takes time, and as a person works through the 12 Steps, they begin to adopt new attitudes and behaviours, but for many, the damage done through active alcoholism can take some time to repair. An alcoholic in recovery is also not immune to “life on life’s terms” which means that there are still plenty of challenges to navigate once sober. This is where the solid foundation and support network established during those first 30 days helps people stay sober through life’s challenges.


  1. After a long period of time, alcoholics are safe to drink again

For an alcoholic, thinking they can drink again after being abstinent for a while can be dangerous. According to the book Alcoholics Anonymous, A.A.’s primary text which contains the 12 Steps.

We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals – usually brief – were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible de-moralisation.

While at The Retreat NZ guests are introduced to alcohol recovery tips and we help educate them about what is misunderstood about alcohol recovery. A.A. provides crucial and ongoing support once a guest leaves rehab. 


Find out how The Retreat NZ can help

Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, and fatal disease. The most important truth about alcohol recovery is that there isn’t a cure, but there is a solution – and The Retreat NZ has it. We offer a range of alcohol recovery programmes based on the 12 Step principles of Alcoholics Anonymous.