Many people can have a few drinks of alcohol to experience conviviality and enjoy the happy fellowship of friends. However, there is a point where the blissfulness ends and an uncontrollable urge takes over. One drink is too many, and a hundred are never enough. It is a cunning and baffling disease called alcoholism. It thrives on a rare peculiarity, which tries to convince you that you really aren’t sick at all.
This uncanny persuasiveness can trigger relapse even after years of sobriety. So, if you realize you can’t drink, what do you do? What can be done to help prevent a relapse from occurring, even during a pandemic? Let’s talk a little about alcohol relapse and how you can avoid them.
There are some who fervently insist that relapse is a part of recovery. While there may not appear to be any logical reason this must be true, research statistics paint a rather abysmal picture about the ultimate reality of alcohol and drug relapse.
A 2014 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that between 40 and 60 percent of recovering alcoholics and addicts relapse with one year of treatment. These numbers give an alcoholic a 50-50 chance of staying sober, at best. This can be a frightening presumption. However, the truth is that just because the statistics point one way, that doesn’t mean you have to add your own experience to the wrong side of the ledger. Let’s talk about how treatment can help reduce relapse.
Treatment Programs to Reduce Future Relapse
There is an old adage that once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. This presumption probably leads to more misery than any other. The statistics we mentioned are for alcoholics and addicts who completed some form of substance abuse treatment. Imagine how abysmal the statistics are for those who never experience a treatment opportunity. You may be someone who has wrestled with alcoholism by yourself. Fateful attempts to control your drinking fail more miserably with each try.
You may go days, weeks, even months without a drink. Nevertheless, there comes a point where you succumb, and the vicious cycle starts all over. There is hope. Treatment begins by accepting that there is a problem. However, the problem isn’t that you’re a terrible person. Alcoholics and drug addicts are sick people who need to get well. Treatment is the first step on the journey of recovery because it helps you honestly accept that you have a problem.
You can stop beating yourself up over failed attempts to stop drinking or using drugs. Treatment opens a doorway to acceptance. It shows you that you are not alone. While you are a unique person, treatment let’s see substance abuse for what it is. It is a sickness that affects people regardless of their social standing, color of their skin, a nature of their heritage. Substance abuse knows no boundaries. There are also the dangers of withdrawal during the early stages of attempted abstinence.
It is not recommended that anyone attempts to detox from drugs or alcohol on their own. The mental problems can be agonizing, but the physical dangers can be life threatening. This is why most treatment facilities offer medically supervised detox. Once you’re safely out of danger, your mind can now begin to absorb the things you’ll be taught during treatment. Treatment programs help to establish a foundation for recovery. They are not guarantees against relapse.
However, the odds of relapse are scary enough for those who do complete treatment. The likelihood of a relapse trying to stay clean and sober on your own are magnified. Remember, the consequences of any relapse could be devastating.
The Effect of the Environment on Recovery
One important determining factor between inpatient residential treatment and an outpatient program is the question of your environment. Many addicts and alcoholics home environments are riddled with triggers. Since the mental obsession of alcoholism and drug addiction is very difficult to overcome, living in an environment full of relapse triggers can present virtually impossible odds. That is one critical feature provided by inpatient residential treatment facilities.
Being part of a drug-free residential treatment facility offers you a chance to put some clean and sober time under your belt, especially during a pandemic, before you return to your everyday environment. While you follow your treatment plan, outpatient or inpatient, you will develop the tools to help combat relapse. One important element of a treatment program will show you ways to handle the effects your environment can have on your recovery.
Holistic Solutions for Combating Addiction
Drug abuse and alcoholism are diseases that require continuous treatment applied in 24-hour blocks. Most alcoholics and addicts agree that if they practice the same thing tomorrow that they did to stay clean and sober today, their chances are better than average.
One of the solutions used to help combat addiction, and especially relapse, are holistic approaches. A common holistic solution across many recovery disciplines is meditation. Art and music therapy are growing increasingly more popular in recovery models. Yoga and exercise are also practical holistic solutions. Each of these holistic approaches helps give you another tool to battle your addiction. They are also excellent ways to change the addictive mindset.
Many alcoholics and addicts wondered what they would do if they didn’t have drugs or alcohol in their life. By building new experiences through various holistic solutions, you’re shown there is more to life than just getting wasted. Holistic solutions are very helpful in establishing the foundation for sustained recovery. As you venture back into your life and a real-world environment, these holistic experiences can provide sources of refuge and peace that help to ward off a relapse.
Recovery is a journey, not a destination. Along the way, you will experience challenges. Statistics prove that one of those challenges will be dealing with relapse triggers. Treatment helps develop a foundation to combat these triggers and prevent a relapse from occurring. There are other solutions such as holistic therapies that can help immensely. The key is to help you combat an urge to relapse. While relapse does happen, unfortunately too frequently, you do not have to be part of a negative statistic. However, it takes effort every day.
If you think you may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, you only need to take one simple first step. Ask for help. Help is available. You no longer need to fight the ominous foe of addiction alone. Make a call for help today, because tomorrow may be too late.