What is Relapse Prevention?
Learn more about alcohol relapse prevention
If you have battled an addiction to alcohol and completed an addiction treatment program, at a reputable treatment center, then you are likely familiar with the overwhelming feeling of pride that comes with finally breaking free from the grips of alcohol abuse. However, even if you just completed treatment or finished a program some time ago, then you are also probably aware that the work is not yet over.
Many treatment programs try to instill the notion that recovery is a lifelong commitment. It takes time, dedication, strength, and perseverance to remain alcohol-free, and it is important for a person to do all that he or she can to abstain from the abuse of alcohol. If one does not commit him or herself to his or her sobriety, there is an increased chance that a relapse will occur. Regardless of whether it is inpatient, residential, or outpatient treatment center in Virginia, completing any kind of rehab does not mean that a person is cured. For this reason, and more, it is important to remain an active participant in one’s mission to be alcohol-free for a lifetime.
Reasons Why People Relapse
Reasons why people relapse back into alcoholism
Because treatment centers offer a great deal of structure and support, it is not likely for a person to experience a relapse while receiving services. However, once rehab is complete, the risk of drinking again is much higher.
Once a person has returned home, the confines of his or her program and the ongoing care that is experienced in treatment is often drastically less. When one notices this, one’s confidence can waver and a relapse becomes more probable. In addition to unsteady confidence, the following may contribute to why a person experiences a relapse following the completion of an alcohol addiction treatment program:
- Being in a situation in which alcohol is served or being consumed
- Developing feelings of self-doubt when thinking about being sober for a lifetime
- Experiencing undue stress or turmoil
- Enduring cravings for alcohol
- Having friends or associates who abuse alcohol
If you have experienced any of the above, are on the verge of relapse, or have relapsed in the recent past, do not feel as though you have committed some irreversible wrong that means you cannot become sober again. Remember that maintaining sobriety takes time and effort and that experiencing a relapse is not a character flaw or a gauge of your strength. Giving yourself a second chance is appropriate and you are worth it to work on your recovery once more.
How to Prevent Relapse
How to prevent relapse back into abusing alcohol
Following the completion of an alcohol addiction treatment program, in Virginia, it is important to know that one does not have to venture the continued journey of sobriety alone. Many, if not all, treatment centers offer thorough discharge plans that detail the specific methods of care, services, and resources that can help a person remain alcohol-free for the long-term. This beneficial aspect of rehab is often included in a person’s treatment as each individual is prepared for life outside of a treatment setting from the very beginning of his or her care. By following through on one’s rehab center’s recommendations, a person will be able to navigate life with little possibility of relapsing.
However, if you or someone you loved is unsure of what can be done to proactively prevent a relapse back into alcohol abuse, please consider the following:
- Either immediately following or shortly after completing treatment, be sure to follow through on the suggested recommendations for care that were given to you. If you were not given a discharge plan, consider speaking to reputable addiction center in your community to determine the type of follow-up and aftercare services that will benefit you most.
- Be sure to include loved ones in your plan for sobriety. By including individuals you care about, you will have a stronger support system and people you can count on during more challenging times.
- Make sure that you regularly practice your coping skills and always be open to learning about others that could be of assistance to you in the future.
- Build a stronger relationship with your sponsor or secure a sponsor if you do not have one. A sponsor is someone who will be there for you in good times and in bad, and can help you at a moment’s notice should you find yourself tempted to drink again.
- Avoid being in situations in which your sobriety may be tested. This is not to say that you should avoid any and all gatherings in which alcohol is consumed. Instead, know what your limits are and default to your own better judgement when trying to decipher if you should be in certain situations in which alcohol is present.
- It is a good idea to have some structure to your day. Therefore, create a daily routine or plan that can help you stick to your sobriety in a more effective way.
- Reengage in more structured treatment if you feel you need it. There is no shame in returning to a treatment center so as to prepare yourself for a future that is alcohol-free. This is always an option for you and can benefit you greatly as you work on your recovery.
At Life Center of Galax, in Virginia, we understand the fear and worry that can precede a relapse, as well as the emotions that can emerge if a relapse has occurred. However, it is important to know that you are not alone and that help and hope are available. Call our center today to learn more about preventing relapse or to become more familiar with our life-changing programming. We are ready when you are.