How to Prevent Alcohol Addiction Relapse: 12 Steps with Pictures

Whether or not relapse is a normal part of recovery is debatable. It’s best to accept it and seek the help needed to prevent relapse from happening again. Medical professionals recommend anyone experiencing a relapse avoid self-criticism and seek support. The relapse rate among those who complete treatment is approximately 90 percent.4 Because of this, many consider alcohol use disorder a chronic, relapsing disease.

  • A relapse or even a lapse might be interpreted as proof that a person doesn’t have what it takes to leave addiction behind.
  • Research clearly shows that everyone’s personality traits shift over the years, often for the better.
  • It’s important that you learn how to deal with these situations in a healthy way.
  • Individuals are encouraged to be completely honest within their recovery circle.
  • Having a safe person to talk to can help you get past the craving and remember why you do not want to return to previous behaviors.

In particular, cognitive behavioral therapy can help people overcome the fears and negative thinking that can trigger relapse. A physical relapse is the point where you’re drinking again. Some recovery communities like SMART Recovery, distinguish between a slip and relapse. A slip is usually a one-time event where you immediately feel regret and want to get back on track right away. A relapse is a longer, more intentional return to alcohol abuse.

Overlooked Signs of a Personality Disorder

For others, shame and embarrassment play a role in relapse. Intense cravings or thoughts about alcohol might trigger someone to relapse. Stress or other life problems often occur before these cravings and urges. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse ,relapse ratesfor substance use disorders are 40-60%.

Addicts who suffer from anxiety and depression put themselves at a much higher risk of relapsing since their body is already stressed. It is necessary to get whatever treatment possible to help with underlying mental illnesses to help prevent relapse. Relapse triggers can be mental, environmental and even mental. Gaining a deep understanding of relapse triggers is the best way to recognize them early on and take measures to prevent relapse.

Common Reasons for Relapse

As such, individuals with an alcohol or drug dependence should know that addiction recovery requires ongoing attention in order to sustain recovery. Learning relapse prevention skills in early recovery and utilizing these tools throughout recovery will help you sustain alcohol relapse long-term recovery from drugs and alcohol. However, it does not have to be when you are fully prepared with a toolbox of healthy coping strategies. Implementing these relapse prevention techniques into your daily schedule can greatly help reduce the risk of relapse.

While the relapse prevention plan may not always be written down (e.g., a verbal agreement), writing it down can have several benefits. Then, the patient and clinician work to develop strategies, including cognitive and behavioral , to address those specific high-risk situations. With more effective coping, the patient develops increased confidence to handle challenging situations without alcohol and other drugs (i.e., increased self-efficacy). If you or someone you care about needs additional care after a relapse, know that you are not alone.

Relapse Prevention Plan Template

For those who have already been in treatment, it might signal that it’s time to try a different approach. However, while treatment is beneficial for your recovery and overall wellbeing, it is not uncommon to relapse after a period of sobriety.

  • However, a 2020 literature review published byAlcohol Research Current Reviews notes that most of those with problem alcohol use will eventually recover from AUD and its related problems.
  • However, truly supportive and understanding friends and loved ones can be your daily guides to continued sobriety.
  • In Relapse Prevention , the clinician and patient work first to assess potential situations that might lead to drinking or using other drugs.
  • Finding hobbies that keep you busy and occupy the mind can be a great relapse prevention tool as well.

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