Alcohol BLOG

Alcohol addiction recovery is a long and hard process but addicts are prone to relapse. All efforts from recovering will go to waste if a person relapses. This is why support and treatment should not stop in recovery. A follow up on the process is necessary to avoid falling into relapse.

A relapse happens when an addict, after stopping for a long time, tries the substance again. For alcohol addicts, it can be one or more drinks. This can last an hour, a day, a month, or years. After the recovery process, a relapse prevention strategy is needed to ensure that a person remains sober and alcohol-free.

Relapse Prevention Strategy

Just like alcohol addiction recovery, relapse is a process. It just doesn’t happen instantly but it happens prior to the actual drinking. After the recovery process, the person will struggle inside to avoid the things that can trigger the relapse. This is why it is important to understand the process of relapse.
    • Emotional relapse. This stage is where your emotions and behaviors are setting you up for a possible relapse. Possible signs of this stage are mood swings, anger, defensiveness, isolation, intolerance, not going to meetings, not asking for help, poor eating and sleeping habits.
Relapse prevention at this stage means recognizing that you are in this stage. Remind yourself that to ask for help or seek support from your group. Recognize the signs and practice self-care, this will lead you to feel good about yourself and not resolve to alcohol.
    • Mental relapse. This is when you are thinking about getting a drink but at the same time, you do not want to. This means that you are actually considering a drink. The signs of this stage include thinking about the people, places, and things that remind you of drinking. Remembering how it was when you were drinking, lying, hanging out with friends who use, fantasizing about using, and thinking about relapsing.
To prevent relapsing at this stage, try to remember your recovery phase. Don’t give yourself the “just one drink” line. Try to control the urges by telling someone about it. You can also try by distracting yourself with work or keep yourself busy. Urges usually last for 30 minutes, try to fight the urge for half an hour until the feeling goes away. Practice relaxation as well because a relaxed mind is more open to changes.
    • Physical relapse. Getting to this stage means that you gave in to emotional and mental relapse. It is hard not to relapse at this phase because it means that you are already convinced to have a drink. This is why a strong foundation is necessary to avoid this stage
A high percentage of addicts fall into relapse. Having a relapse prevention plan is necessary to avoid falling into addiction again. Withdrawal will lead the person to experience an emotional and mental relapse. A strong will to fight urges will avoid the possibility of physical relapse.