Alcoholics in recovery often face tempting situations and are at a high risk of relapsing even after long-term sobriety. Negative emotions and unpleasant situations can seem unbearable, and alcohol often seems like the only way to escape. However, there are many dangerous risks that can arise when relapsing on alcohol. Relapsing on alcohol can negatively affect the addict and others in the following ways:
- The addict’s tolerance level for alcohol consumption may be lower due to recovery, which can pose a serious health risk when relapsing and consuming the same amount as before recovery.
- The addict may lose his or her sense of pride in the achievements that have been made during recovery.
- Family members may lose trust and redevelop fears and sadness toward the addict’s behavior.
- Relapsing once can often be a gateway into abusing other drugs and becoming reckless to the point of criminality and imprisonment.
- Relapsing can often cause individuals to go overboard because they feel as though they have already failed. They may consume way too much to the point of alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal.
There are numerous triggers that can cause a recovering alcoholic to relapse. Identifying and being conscious of personal triggers can be critical to preventing alcohol relapse. Professional therapy can be beneficial to recovering alcoholics because it can equip them with the skills necessary to identify triggers and avoid them. Some common triggers that can cause alcohol relapse to include the following:
- Settings where alcohol is being consumed, such as bars or parties
- Fights or stress over feuds with other family members
- Arguments with a significant other
- High stress or busy work that is demanding
- Feelings of intense happiness over personal achievements that normally cause celebration
These common triggers are often a part of normal life and can be difficult to avoid. Therapy can provide the development of healthy coping mechanisms and exercises to offer a recovering alcoholic the ability to get through these situations without alcohol. Relapse is a common occurrence among those trying to recover from alcoholism. In the event of a relapse, it can be beneficial to reenter a rehab program. It can be difficult to start recovery over again, but it is not impossible. Making changes regarding work, friends, and locations may be necessary to recover after a relapse. Intense outpatient programs can be beneficial to provide ongoing support and care. Seeking support from family members is also important after a relapse. When family members understand that relapse is common and are provided with information about addiction and how to help an addict, they can help the addict achieve long-term sobriety.