What to Do When You Relapse on Alcohol
What to Do When You Relapse on Alcohol
Relapse is a difficult part of recovery that many people have to deal with, but you shouldn'tt let it diminish how far you have come. Read more to learn more on what to do when you relapse on alcohol so you can get back on track in no time.
Overcoming alcohol addiction is a challenge which needs commitment and time. Studies show that approximately 40 to 60 percent of people treated for substance abuse are likely to have a relapse. If you have ever had to overcome an addiction, you know how difficult it is to resist the urge to backslide.
A slip is a momentary lapse which causes regret to the victim soon after the action. It can occur when a person experiences something which distracts his/her focus temporarily. Relapse describes a person who manages a sober life for quite some time only to resume to old habits eventually.
Falling back is not equivalent to ultimate failure. Knowing what to do when you relapse is what matters. The bottom line is that the victim has expressed the urge to quit drinking.
Keep on reading to learn more!
Pointers to an Imminent Relapse
Victims of a relapse find it harder to quit the addiction than those undergoing treatment for the first time. Understanding the red flags of the condition can help a person who is recovering to maintain sobriety. Below are a few indicators of a relapse-in-waiting.
1. Lack of Commitment
Staying sober requires dedication. You must invest the effort needed for long-term sobriety. Your input may include attending therapy sessions and counseling meetings religiously.
2. Quitting for Others
The reason for seeking treatment should be a conviction in your heart to stop drinking. People who do it to please their families and friends have a high risk of relapsing.
3. Lack of a Support System
A person who has just begun to lead a sober life needs a support network. Linking with others who are recovering encourages the victim to stay strong. Testimonies from others motivate the person to remain sober.
A post-treatment plan is also vital in guiding the person to deal with the core of alcoholism. It can assist the victim to deal with wrong friends, family disputes, financial problems, and so on.
What to Do When You Relapse
If you happen to relapse, you have to accept that it happened and stop regretting or blaming yourself. The following are some constructive ways of dealing with the problem.
1. Take Immediate Action
After a relapse, some people stay for days or weeks before acting because they feel ashamed of themselves. Dilly-dallying only worsens the situation. You might end up drinking even more and sink deeper into the addiction.
Accept that it happened and take steps towards your recovery. Put more effort into overcoming the craving and temptations and move on.
2. Talk to a Counselor
Some people drink to overcome depression. There are psychological, social, biological, and environmental factors which cause distress. During the recovery process, some of these aspects persist and drive the victim back to drinking.
If that's your case, consider the help of a counselor. You may also join a self-help group which has members who have overcome a situation like yours. Their guidance can offer insights which can help you to deal with your psychosocial issues.
3. Deal with Social Pressure
A person recovering from alcohol addiction faces many temptations as drinking seems like an accepted pastime in many societies. People indulging in alcohol drinking are all over social places and the entertainment space.
Once you resolve to lead a sober life after relapsing, you might have extra time since you won't be visiting bars. Without a plan, you might reunite with your old drinking partners and get influenced to drink again.
If you reverted to drinking due to the widespread presence of alcohol, restrict yourself to places without it. Try to avoid your drinking friends too. Find an activity to be doing when you are free to prevent idleness.
Spend your time in a 12-step recovery program to get help on abstaining from alcohol. You can consider volunteering in community service where you will spend your time constructively.
4. Restore Your Body and Mind
Some people backslide to avoid the side effects of withdrawal from alcohol. There can be severe symptoms like cognitive impairment, confusion, nightmares, memory loss, and many others. Psychological and physiological healing takes time, and the first moments can be quite tough.
After your relapse, you should focus on leading a healthy life and building your mental strength. Take proper nutrition, exercise your body, have enough sleep, and seek medical attention if necessary. You can also attend self-help group meetings or see a psychiatrist.
5. Let Your Relapse Be a Lesson
The worst mistake you can do after a relapse is to view yourself as a letdown who cannot amount to anything. If you pile loads of shame, resentment, and guilt on yourself, you might get depressed and more relapses could follow.
Acknowledging that you had a relapse means that you have had enough of the drinking life and you want to change. Get a better support system. Set your ground rules for rejecting alcohol and commit yourself to recovery.
Analyze the events before backsliding to determine what triggered your relapse. Write down your triggers and discuss them amongst your self-help group members or with your counselor.
6. Visit a Rehab
If yours was a slip and you think you can prevent it from happening again, you can commit to sobriety on your own. However, prolonged or multiple lapses may require you to visit a rehabilitation facility for a strict treatment program.
What to Do When You Relapse - Final Thoughts
If you have been wondering what to do when you relapse, now you have the tips. The essential thing is to know that failure comes after you give up on yourself. A relapse should not block your way to recovery.
Once you recommit to treatment, seek cognitive behavioral therapy. It helps people recovering from addiction to change their perception of situations which tend to stress them. Engage yourself in wellness activities such as physical fitness, music, and yoga, among others.
Relapse is a temporary return to undesired behavior. Perceive it that way and strive to improve your life. Set long-term goals and dedicate yourself to achieving them.
Recovery is a critical step for a people struggling with alcoholism to take as it means a lot to their future. If someone close to you decides to quit drinking, you should support them wholeheartedly. Neglecting a recovering victim can contribute to their relapse.
Using gifts can help in the recovery process, and here are AA gifts you should use.