For those who recover from alcohol addiction, there’s always the fear of relapsing. After putting in the hard work at a treatment center and with a team of professionals, it can be intimidating to return to the real world and experience common triggers.
Although no one ever plans to return to using alcohol, there are still some people who still relapse. There are many reasons why people relapse and return to alcohol. It can also occur unexpectedly and even years after becoming sober. Understanding how common relapsing is and why it occurs can help other people become more equipped to avoid it.
The Percentage of Alcoholics Who Relapse
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to relapse after becoming sober and recovering from alcohol addiction. Studies show that approximately 40 to 60% of people relapse within the first month of completing a treatment program. As high as 85% of people relapse the same year they leave the treatment facility.
Factors That Increase the Risk of Relapsing
There are many different factors that can increase the risk of relapsing and return to alcohol. Understanding the factors can prepare your expectations and help you to avoid putting yourself in certain situations or scenarios once you return home. Boredom One of the most common reasons many people relapse is due to too much time on their hands.
It can be difficult to know how to spend your time when you used to spend it at bars or enjoying drinks with your friends. This makes it necessary to find new hobbies and activities to enjoy that allow you to stay busy and occupied. It requires trying new activities like cycling, painting, or photography to discover what you’re interested in after becoming sober.
Once you acquire new hobbies, it can be easier to focus more on your interests and avoid the temptation that can come with using alcohol. Isolation Many people who don’t have a support system with family members and friends in their life are more prone to relapsing. It can be difficult to remain strong and resist the urge to use alcohol if you spend a lot of time alone and start to succumb to your temptations. Make it a point to spend time with people who care for you and surround yourself with positive influences.
Avoid investing in relationships where the other person doesn’t understand the value of your sobriety. It’s also necessary to have a sponsor or mentor who can help you to maintain your sobriety. Regularly attending AA meetings will also make it easy to have a support system if you don’t have a lot of people offering their support in your own life. Poor Self-Care Some people also fail to provide proper care for themselves after leaving a treatment center. It can be easy to begin to indulge in food as a way to replace the addiction. Other people may immerse themselves in their work as a way to avoid triggers.
Maintaining a clean diet and exercising are crucial to caring for your body. Staying active will naturally release endorphins and can boost your mood when you’re feeling down and sluggish. It’s also necessary to take days off from work during the week and schedule time to have fun. Schedule to have time with your loved ones to ensure you can build your relationships with people you care about. When you start to value and prioritize your body and well-being, it can help reduce the risk of using alcohol.
What to Do After Relapsing
If you relapse, it’s important to stay positive and understand that it’s not a life sentence. You can still recover again and return to sobriety. Proper stress management is also necessary to ensure you can reduce the risk of using alcohol when you are going through challenges in life.
Managing triggers is also a key part of remaining sober, which may include avoiding spending time with certain people or in specific locations. Working with a professional therapist can allow you to prepare and identify the different triggers that have made you return to alcohol in the past. If you’re ready to get started, reach out to our team at 844-639-8371 today.