Prevent Alcohol Relapse
Individuals who are recovering from alcohol dependency always run the risk of experiencing a relapse. Relapse is a common occurrence during the first stages of withdrawal from alcohol, but it can be just as easy to relapse in the following week, months and years if an individual is not careful.
There is not one specific solution for preventing alcohol relapse; a combination of practices is the best way to maintain sobriety. Keep in mind that everyone’s experience will be different; some things may trigger relapse more intensely or less intensely for each person.
If you or someone you know has become sober after an addiction to alcohol, consider applying or suggesting these 6 tips to prevent alcohol relapse:
- Communicate with others
Once you’ve finished detoxifying, the next stages are critical to avoid relapse. It is a good idea to start the next part of your journey by communicating with the people around you, to let them know about your progress and what they can do to help.
Not only will this help others to understand what you’re experiencing, but they may support you even more and actively help you avoid potential triggers. Keep the lines of communication open, and be ready to answer any questions your support group might have.
- Recognize and remove triggers
You might not even realize how many things trigger your craving to drink until you’re face-to-face with them. Avoid this as much as possible by recognizing the triggers that set you off in the past, and remove as many as you can.
Triggers can be all kinds of things, from songs and places, to people and smells. External triggers like these should be avoided, by substituting them for new places, new experiences and friends who don’t drink.
Internal triggers are harder to recognize, and they may become exposed over time. Some internal triggers may be feelings of excitement, or stressful emotions that used to signal drinking. At these points, try to reach out to someone to keep you busy or go for a walk to clear your head.
- Avoid tempting environments
There is a good chance that you already know where to find alcohol and who will be drinking; to prevent alcohol relapse, avoid these places at all costs. Putting yourself in situations where you know there will be alcohol and drinking will only make it harder.
It’s especially important not to test yourself, in order to ‘see what you can handle’. Your best bet is to avoid potential for relapse as much as possible.
- Stay busy
You may notice that when you’re not always drinking that you have more time for other things. This is a great opportunity to try some new activities or pick up a new hobby. This will help you to avoid thinking about drinking, and you may even begin to enjoy these new activities more.
- Maintain support
Family and friends may not always be able to help you, so having other support groups is ideal. Keep yourself in check by attending weekly meetings, and keeping up with others who are in the same boat that you are.
Doing so will allow you to motivate one another to stay sober, and you’ll always have a group to turn to when you feel the urge crawling back.
Maintain your sobriety and prevent alcohol relapse by applying these tips to your everyday routine. After all of the hard work you’ve done to detoxify at a rehab center, it’s worth it to maintain the new life you’ve earned.