What is Alcohol Relapse
You may have heard someone having been referred to as “slipping” back into bad habits. The central idea of which maintains that the individual may have had some alcohol, effectively ending their sobriety, but haven’t fully swung the pendulum into a full relapse.
A relapse, however, is a much more serious and significant change. A relapse is more than just an isolated incident; it’s more akin to having fallen into the same negative cycle they were in before they sought help. In fact, those that suffer an alcohol relapse may be even more susceptible to addiction than ever before.
Signs of Alcohol Relapse
When you notice yourself or someone else start slipping, there are certain noticeable factors that addicts almost always fall victim to as they reach a full relapse. The most common of these is when the individual stops adhering to obligations they made in order to quit in the first place, such as going to meetings, skipping steps on a program, or making excuses about your past behavior.
This often leads into romanticizing addictive or abusive behaviors, forgetting the pain and problems associated with the overconsumption of alcohol. Individuals begin to display more moody, selfish behaviors, often called “dry drunk.” This leads to that critical “just one drink won’t hurt me” qualifier and the first slip.
From there, you’ll notice old friends from substance-abusing days are being sought out, and deceptive patterns start to reemerge. This can be in the form of skipping out on events with family and friends, lying, or aggressively challenging questions.
Alcohol Relapse Prevention
The key to preventing a relapse both for yourself or another, is staying vigilant and being very proactive in identifying triggers. Avoiding temptations is always easier said than done, so seeking out prevention measures includes reaching out to or attending support groups, seeking counseling or therapy, and even asking your physician for medication.
It’s also very important to know that the mental or emotional relapse can start days, weeks or months in advance of the physical action. These manifest in very specific ways, including anxiety, anger, mood swings, defensiveness, and even intolerance.
The best way to combat that and other behaviors is to not isolate yourself, to purposely and directly ask for help, to make sure you’re eating healthy and getting enough sleep, and to reach out to others who can help you along your path.
No two addiction problems are ever the exact same, which is why there are many treatment options that exist to help patients get the right care. From counseling, to weekly group sessions, to extended treatment center stays, there’s something that’s right for every person and every level of addiction. We at the National Relapse Hotline are qualified to help find you the right support for your specific needs, lifestyle and even budget.
Support Designed For You
Just like the treatment options, every needs individual support and care when it comes to their addiction needs. Whether you’re a man, woman, or young adult, we can help you find the right support. Personal care isn’t a one-size-fits-all, which is why our professional team at NRH will ensure you not only receive the right support, but that you’re comfortable with our options.
What To Expect
Treatment programs vary drastically depending on your level of care, your needs, and even your treatment choice or facility. Do realize that inpatient programs are often more focused, hands on and attentive than outpatient programs. That said, outpatient programs are fantastic for people who live busy lives but still want to rely on continued support as they go about their personal or professional daily routines.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient
As you would imagine, there are quite a few start contrasts from choosing inpatient versus outpatient support. For example, inpatient rehabilitation facilities are often more effective because of their detox programs and hands-on approach. The individual is receiving constant, support care so they have less room to slip or relapse because access to negative experiences is heavily limited. However, as an inpatient, patient stress revolves around missing family and friends, and being absent from work.
Outpatient, on the other hand, is not without its own benefits and detractors. They can vary in need and support, ranging anywhere from a short class to weekly group sessions, and are ideal for people who need limited support. If, however, the patient has low will power, suffers from multiple addictions, or needs more extensive direction or care, then inpatient is preferred.
- Work with NRH or your medical professional to determine your specific needs
- Choose a program that gives you the best possible support
- Weigh your options when it comes to inpatient, outpatient or extended care
The very second you believe that you are having negative thoughts or feelings, or feel yourself slipping, tell someone you trust how you’re feeling and get support right away. You never have to go it alone, especially at NRH. By reaching out to others for help, you’ll find that distractions come more easily, the recovery is more attainable, and that your emotional strength is renewed more effectively. If you find yourself in a situation or location that offers more temptation, remove yourself immediately and seek out support.
Learn From Experience
Whether you’ve gone through rehabilitation yourself or you keep seeing the same patterns in someone you’re trying to help, you know firsthand what it takes to avoid situations, negative patterns or behaviors, and succumbing to emotional instability. Identifying these issues and addressing them quickly should be second nature because you’re already had to deal with them before. Find strength in your prior experiences and overcome a relapse with knowledge.
Manage Side Effects
- Address your mental behavior by not giving in to the glamorization of your past addiction
- Avoid an emotional relapse by identifying negative thoughts, feelings and emotions.
- Recognize that a physical relapse is quite possible and make the conscious effort to attend meetings, visit friends and family, and keep yourself occupied.
Managing your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors can be extremely difficult if you have low will power, which is why NRH has a support system in place to ensure you get the round the clock help you need to make the right decisions. From friends, family members, or the NRH, there’s someone willing to do whatever it takes to help you through your trying times.
Seek Professional Help
Never hesitate to reach out to the professionals at the National Relapse Hotline to help you overcome your addiction no matter the stage you’re currently in, be it your first step, a relapse, or continued support. We’ll be there with information, treatment and prevent programs, and trained advisors available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Ask the expert