Avoid Relapse After Alcohol Rehab
Having gone through the difficulty of alcohol rehabilitation the last thing you want is to relapse back into an alcoholic state. While the alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation process helps you eliminate the toxins from your system and provides you with the tools and support to live a sober life, there are a few things that you will encounter that will test your strength when it comes to alcohol.
What Triggers Relapse?
There are three very common triggers that you could encounter when you leave alcohol rehab.
- Exposure: Often exposure to alcohol can be minimal – such as having it in food – and consumed unknowingly. You may even feel the need to test your newfound sobriety by consuming a small amount. Either way, exposure to alcohol is a trigger for relapse, and should be avoided at all times – especially early on in your recovery.
- Environment: The environmental trigger is multi faceted as certain environments will awaken memories of good times associated with alcohol consumption, encourage alcohol consumption (such as a social event), or contain alcohol (i.e. a bar). The social pressure to drink in certain environments contributes to around 20% of all relapses, and staying away form environmental triggers is extremely difficult.
- Stress: Many alcoholics turn to alcohol as a means of relieving stress. When returning to a stressful lifestyle you may be tempted to return to your old coping mechanisms and thus return to your alcohol addiction.
While there are many other triggers that could push you to relapse, these three are the most prominent and it is important that you are able to identify them and know how to deal with them in order to prevent your own relapse.
How To Avoid Relapse?
During your alcohol rehabilitation process you will be provided with various tools to help you avoid relapse once you leave the rehabilitation facility or program, however we have a few simple tips that you can work on, on your own, to help keep you on your recovery path.
- Avoid Alcohol: Although this seems an obvious point, it is far easier to say than actually do. Alcohol is everywhere and wile you not expected to lock yourself away for eternity, try and avoid situations that will put you into contact with alcohol.
- Develop Your Willpower: Your willpower is as strong as you allow it to be. Develop your willpower by resisting small urges to do certain things – such as adding sugar to your coffee – then expand your resistance to bigger urges. As you strengthen your willpower each temptation will get easier and easier to overcome.
- Be Patient: The reality is that your addiction would have affected a number of people close to you. Some will be eager to help and have you 100% recovered while others may still be trying to overcome their own emotions regarding the effect you had on them. Be patient with your loved ones as they learn to understand what you are going through, what you need and how to overcome their own emotions.
- Don’t Be Hard On Yourself: You will experience a rollercoaster of emotions on your path toward recovery. Be patient with yourself and understand that everybody is unique in his or her healing time. Don’t be hard on yourself as you go through your recovery, the fact that you chose to quit your addiction in the first place is already an achievement beyond many expectations.
- Channel Positivity: Although easier said than done, avoid negativity. When you find yourself becoming negative distract yourself (with a hobby or exercise), call your therapist or sponsor, or get some fresh air. Surround yourself with things that make you happy and channel positivity.
- Seize The Moment: Do not dwell on the “good old times”, instead focus on the now and enjoy your increasing self-esteem and confidence thanks to being alcohol free and take back the power you lost to your addiction. However don’t completely forget your past and learn to accept the truth of what brought you to this point.
- Embrace Sleep: Your addiction would have played havoc with your sleep patterns, but sleep is one of the most important tools that your body requires to heal itself. Work with your doctor and therapist to help you embrace sleep again.
- Return To Therapy: Rehab is only the first steps on the long road of recovery. When you leave rehab you are not expected to be 100% complete with recovery. Your recovery will only be successful through your commitment to accepting your weaknesses and knowing that therapy is your key to working through those weaknesses.