The Top 5 Relapse Prevention Strategies You’ll Learn During Alcohol Programs

How are relapses prevented after treatment for alcohol abuse? Relapse prevention is usually the goal after you have successfully completed a program for alcohol addiction. At this point, there are strategies involved that can help you stay on track to recovery. Whether you are an outpatient at a facility or are in an aftercare program, you will want to follow these strategies learned during treatment.

Did you know that between 40 percent and 60 percent of people who struggle with addiction to alcohol, including those with alcohol use disorder, will relapse? Not just statistics for alcohol abuse, statistics show that many of the people with illnesses, such as type 1 diabetes, face the prospect of relapse of symptoms; this is unless lifestyle and dietary changes are made. Part of treatment for abuse of alcohol should be relapse prevention planning and strategy.

Relapse and Prevention

What are some signs of relapse that you, a parent or friend might notice? These might include the following:

  • Being visibly intoxicated
  • Empty bottles or missing alcohol
  • Breath and clothing smell like alcohol
  • Money is missing
  • Cough syrup is missing
  • Being away for long periods of time as well as absence from work or school

These are signs that family and friends may recognize. However, you can recover from a relapse and head back to real recovery. The following are the top 5 relapse prevention strategies that you learn during treatment. The first strategy is peer support – This might include a small number of people at a facility or it might include a larger group. Alcohol addiction recovery groups are often found locally. They might be in a community center or church, and weekly attendance or more is offered. You can also call a friend for support. While in treatment, you may be part of group therapy.

Relapse May Have Stages

A second strategy is to recognize the stages of relapse – These are emotional, mental and physical. In emotional relapse, you may be in denial, be bottling up emotions, skipping meetings, isolating and have a lack of self care. Therapy may help with this denial and encourage self care. Mental relapse includes craving for alcohol, thinking about past people and places related to drinking. Avoiding high-risk places and people is critical to recovery. With treatment, you’ll learn good coping skills that allow the thoughts to be let go easily.

Physical relapse occurs when the person actually starts drinking again. The third strategy is distraction – learning about mind-body relaxation may be helpful as a way to address stress. A large part of recovery for the future is learning how to relax as well as becoming honest with yourself. Creating a new life is made easier. Distracting yourself can help in your avoidance of common triggers that signal drinking.

More Strategies For Prevention

The fourth strategy is to know your triggers – What are your triggers? By avoiding the people and places associated with drinking, you can avoid a host of triggers. Being aware that your old drinking buddy is not your friend now, can help you form new friendships with others in recovery. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) might be a the way to understand your triggers and increase your ability to cope with frustration and stress.

The fifth strategy is taking care of yourself – from visits to the gym to outdoor walks in nature, lifting your mind, body and spirit is necessary for recovery. It makes you stronger, preventing the temptations that once held you hostage. You may now try new experiences, such as getting a massage, doing yoga, meditating and more. After treatment, you will know that taking time for yourself and learning to relax go a long way in the healing from addiction. You may have never experienced how to soothe your racing thoughts; meditation, rather than self-medication, is a coping tool that you may learn.

Treatment for alcohol addiction includes these strategies as well as others to help you remain sober as you move forward with your life. Ready to get started with a treatment program, now that you know that the possibility of relapse will be addressed? Why suffer from the throws of addiction to alcohol? We are available 24/7 at 833-762-3739. Talk to our counselors to learn more and get started on the path to lifetime sobriety.