Many people who complete alcohol rehab go on to live clean and sober lives for the rest of their days. While these individuals are to be commended, we must not forget about those who leave alcohol addiction treatment and quickly relapse into their original drinking problem.
The following information describes the reasons why individuals relapse after alcohol rehab – and what can be done to help these men and women get their lives -and their recovery – back on track.
Why do People Relapse after Alcohol Rehabilitation?
There are a number of reasons why people tend to “slip up” after they have just completed a professional treatment program for alcohol addiction.
- Temptation. An individual’s home environment is often the cause of their alcoholism. Hanging out with old friends who drink can quickly put the individual in a difficult situation -and lead to alcoholism relapse.
- Stress. Returning home to daily life is a stressful experience. Many individuals are not prepared to face the responsibilities of home, work or school as a newly minted sober person. Some cope with this stress productively according to the lessons learned during rehab, others however, may turn back to the bottle – their “old” way of coping with stress.
- Initial slip ups. Many people feel hopeless after their initial slip up back into alcohol abuse. This can quickly spiral out of control -and what was a small problem blossoms into a full-on relapse.
How to Manage Alcoholism Relapse
What follows are a series of tips and helpful suggestions for individuals who “fall off the wagon” and their loved ones.
- Understand that just because you have made a single mistake doesn’t mean that a number of other mistakes must follow
- Don’t become despondent. Just because you have made a mistake, doesn’t mean that your world is going to come crashing down
- Get out of the environment. Make sure that you do everything you can to leave behind the harmful environment that has helped play a role in the relapse.
- Get help. Most importantly, if you have relapsed into alcohol abuse, it is important to reach out and find help immediately. This help can be in the form of a loved one, a sponsor or a counselor from your original alcohol rehab program.
Alcohol Detox and Relapse
One of most common times for an individual to relapse is during alcohol detox. Relapse occurs during detoxification as a result of the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms experienced during the process. Withdrawal is not usually life-threatening, but the symptoms can cause the individual enough stress and discomfort to where they quickly turn back to old habit.
Among the most common alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms are:
- Mood swings
- Strong alcohol craving
- Hallucinations and seizures (in the most serious cases of alcoholism).
For these reasons, it is important that alcohol detox takes place in the presence of a treatment professional. Detox professionals can help provide medical and psychological support during this challenging, but important part of the recovery process.
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