People who have undergone treatment for alcohol addiction are, unfortunately, very likely to fail at their first attempt. According to statistics, around 90 percent of alcoholics who have undergone treatment for their addiction will relapse at least once during the following four years.
It is not only people who have suffered from alcohol addiction who are likely to relapse, it is also true to say that anyone who has attended a rehabilitation center for addiction to drugs or some type of mental health disorder, are also at risk of relapse. Many people may believe that they are leaving the rehab center for good after their first visit, only to be straight back again within the first few months or years.
In order for people suffering from alcohol addiction to live the rest of their lives in recovery, it is important that they are involved in a viable plan to help avoid any type of relapse. Relapse is, perhaps, more common in alcohol addiction due to the lifestyles and habits of friends, loved ones and other relations. Alcohol forms a very large part of social networks these days and, in order to avoid relapse, anyone who has suffered from alcohol addiction will need a lot of support both in the beginning and in the future. Just one drink can be enough to re-start the downward spiral of alcoholism over again. Every single person in the recovering addict’s life, however, can help to avoid this.
Relapse prevention plans are complex and must be individually designed to suit each person. It is imperative that each plan has many different components, but most include:
- Individual therapy sessions.
- Group therapy sessions.
- Awareness of the effect alcohol has on not only the individual concerned, but also everyone around them.
- Understanding of strategies regarding alcohol avoidance and how to escape from dangerous situations
- Awareness of how to block intrusive thoughts about alcohol addiction from the mind
- Strategies to manage the inevitable emotional stress which accompanies rehab from any type of addiction
It’s important for the person (and their family and loved ones) to realize that with alcohol addiction, relapse does not actually occur at the moment the addict takes another sip of an alcoholic drink. By that time it has already occurred in the mind of the person suffering from alcohol addiction. A subtle change of intentions or attitudes is the danger point which triggers the relapse behavior. Learning how to notice these changes can help to avoid the situation. If the individual involved, plus their family and friends, know how to recognize these changes then they are in a much stronger position to prevent the relapse and continue the addict’s road to ongoing recovery.