Most people who become alcoholics start drinking innocently enough – often for the reasons listed above. But, for those prone to addiction, their use turns into a habit and ultimately into a problem over which they have no control. In other words, the urge to drink controls them. Many try to quit on their own, but doing so is difficult. Despite repeated attempts to quit, the end result is often alcohol relapse, no matter how sincere their intentions are. In order to stay safe and sober, it is vital that you have a relapse prevention plan ready to fight back.
When people do go through all the hard work of becoming sober, they are still vulnerable to relapse if they aren’t very careful. In addition to many of the reasons listed above, the following are some other common reasons for relapse.
Getting Together With Old Drinking Buddies
This is a very common reason for alcohol relapse. Often, it starts out innocent enough – you run into an old drinking buddy and decide to grab a bite to eat or have a non-alcoholic drink with him. Unfortunately, the next thing you know, your buddy coaxes you into having “just one – for old time’s sake,” and an unexpected alcohol relapse occurs.
If you engage in any former behaviors or habits that were closely associated with drinking, alcohol relapse is likely to occur. You may not even realize it at first, but that connection can be a powerful reminder of how much you enjoyed the taste of your favorite drink or the pleasant feelings it produced.
Too Much Time On Your Hands
Alcohol relapse often occurs if you’ve got too much idle time. The lack of something productive or purposeful to occupy your time can leave you very vulnerable to alcohol relapse. After all, in the past, when you were bored or idle, you likely had a drink (and probably several) to fill the time.
Staying Sober and Preventing Alcohol Relapse
The tried and true mechanism behind getting sober and preventing relapse is simple (but definitely not easy) – and that is to fight the fight with everything you’ve got. There really is no other way. If sobriety is truly your goal, you must take the necessary steps to get there. Once you’ve gone through alcohol rehab, the following two things are essential to avoid alcohol relapse:
Stay away from alcohol and from those who are drinking alcohol. Again, if you go back to spending time with friends who are actively drinking, your chances of avoiding relapse are greatly diminished. You don’t want to trigger that overwhelming temptation to drink.
Find new passions and activities to fill your time and keep yourself motivated. As mentioned earlier, idle time is a dangerous thing for an alcoholic in recovery. Take up an activity that you enjoy – something that stimulates your mind. This could be taking a class, writing a book, learning to play golf, or doing fulfilling volunteer work. By engaging in enjoyable activities that keep you busy, you’ll be much more likely to avoid an alcohol relapse.
Recovery from alcoholism and preventing alcohol relapse is possible. It takes a lot of courage and determination, but the effort is well worth it.