Recognize the Signs of an Alcohol Relapse

Drinking is an addiction to alcohol, and part of that is a chemical dependency where the body craves the chemical after it doesn’t receive it anymore. At the same time, the social and emotional component of alcohol addiction is often even stronger than the chemical pull. Experts at centers such as know that this combination of factors will increase the possibility of a relapse of alcohol addiction after treatment, or after someone stops drinking.

It is estimated that after someone decides to stop drinking, 25 percent will reduce their consumption within a year. That means that 75 percent don’t. Other research indicates that relapse rates hover between 40 and 60 percent. Understanding the signs of alcohol relapse can help you or a loved one avoid it. Learn how to recognize and prevent the signs of relapse here.

Signs of Alcohol Relapses

Alcohol relapse signs can be subtle, or they can be major red flags and triggers. There are emotional signs, and also social signs that many know to avoid. At the same time, when you are in a stressed state you will not have the skills and tools you need to avoid a relapse, unless you can recognize those signs.

You know you’re taking risks. If you are thinking of a glass of wine or beer and know you might “get caught” this is a sign you could relapse. Going to a bar with a friend without a plan is playing with fire on your relapse avoidance plan. Don’t put yourself in the path of temptation.

You experience increased stress or depression. Anxiety and depression are leading predictors of substance abuse of any kind. When you are feeling like you can’t cope with that, you are on the verge of a relapse. Seek alternative therapies or stress reducers when you think of going for a drink. The higher the stress level, the greater the likelihood you will relapse.

Life brings unexpected events. If a major life problem arrives, you will be on the verge of relapse whether you know it consciously or not. Seek support through family and friends who know you need to avoid relapse, and getting through that time will be easier.

You have a change in motivation. If you find that you aren’t caring as much about preventing relapse, this is a change in motivation. You don’t want to participate as much anymore, not because you feel better, but because you aren’t motivated to stay sober anymore for whatever reason. This is a big danger zone.

Relapse Prevention

If you want to prevent relapse, the first thing you need to stay on top of is your mindset. You need to sincerely want to avoid that. There are other strategies that you can engage in that will help.

Your social support system is the most important part of your life after your mindset. Keep attending your group meetings, or go to one when you feel that motivation begin to slip. Stay around family or friends that know what you are going through, and keep in touch with them when you need a social boost.

Choosing healthier habits also helps more than you know. Pick up your life again with things and activities that make you feel just as relaxed as alcohol did.

Prevent Relapse With Support

When you feel like you are on the verge of a relapse, or worried it could happen, seek expert support to help you get through that. Experts at centers such as know that after all you have been through, it can help you to stay in control of your life.

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