Unfortunately, sobriety is never easy. Avoiding an alcohol relapse requires constant effort and consideration from anyone living with alcohol use disorder. However, there are several useful methods an individual can employ to prevent an alcohol relapse in order to maintain their sobriety.
What is Alcohol Use Disorder?
Despite its legal status, alcohol is a dangerous substance. It presents numerous serious effects to those who consume it, including the potential to develop an addiction. A person develops alcohol use disorder when they can no longer stop or control how much alcohol they consume, even in the face of minor or major consequences.
Who Does Alcohol Use Disorder Affect?
According to a survey conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in 2019 around 14.5 million people in the U.S. ages 12 and older were living with alcohol use disorder. Unfortunately, this number has likely grown since then.
While 14.5 million may be living with alcohol use disorder, that number does accurately reflect how many people in the U.S. are affected by alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use disorder never affects just one person. It also affects those one surrounds themselves with.
When consumed, alcohol changes a person’s behavior. It typically makes them irrational, impulsive, and sometimes aggressive. These changes in behavior can become even worse when a person develops alcohol use disorder. In either case, negative changes in behavior will inevitably affect others — whether a person wants them to or not.
What is an Alcohol Relapse?
To overcome alcohol use disorder, a person must become sober through professional addiction treatment at a rehabilitation facility. However, this is only the beginning of the process of recovery. Sobriety requires consistent effort and consideration each and every day to be maintained. If a person not only returns to alcohol but to alcohol abuse, they have relapsed.
How to Prevent an Alcohol Relapse
Preventing an alcohol relapse can be difficult, but it is possible with the help of proven methods and strategies. These include:
Leaning on a Support System
Of the many challenges, one may face during their life, recovering from an addiction may be one of the most demanding. However, like other challenges, maintaining one’s sobriety can be much easier with the help of others. To prevent a relapse, an individual should create and lean on a support system. This system can be made up of family members, friends, sponsors, and counselors or therapists. Anyone can be part of an individual’s support system as long as they have a shared desire for the individual to remain sober. By surrounding themselves with people who want the best for them, individuals in recovery often find it easier to prevent a relapse.
Anticipating and Avoiding Triggers
Individuals living with alcohol use disorder often have a reason or reasons why they lost control of their drinking. For some, the reason may be trauma, fitting in with friends, a combination of the two, or something else entirely. For example, if an individual usually drinks when watching sports, it may be best to avoid watching sports in early recovery to avoid a potential trigger to drink alcohol. In any case, it is important for an individual to identify what triggers their desire to drink. In doing so, they can anticipate their triggers, avoid them, and develop coping skills.
The process of becoming sober is often more successful with the help of addiction specialists at rehabilitation facilities. This fact is also true when it comes to maintaining sobriety. Many rehabilitation facilities in the U.S. offer a number of aftercare services. Aftercare services can consist of weekly group therapy meetings, individual therapy or counseling, and meetings and classes on different coping skills and strategies. Taking advantage of any and all available aftercare services can aid in preventing alcohol relapse.
Searching for Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment?
Sadly, relapses happen. However, preventing an alcohol relapse and maintaining sobriety is possible. If you or a loved one are in need of alcohol use disorder treatment or are looking for aftercare services, our team of addiction specialists are here to help! Contact Knoxville Recovery Center today for more information on how we can treat alcohol use disorder or how we can help you or your loved one prevent an alcohol relapse!