Perhaps the most important time for an alcoholic in their healing journey is when they accept they have a problem and want to change. Once this point has been reached the alcoholic can access a substantial amount of community provision in the UK to support them through the most difficult times. One of the major obstacles to remaining on track is the possibility of relapse. The most common place for alcoholics to receive professional treatment is in alcohol rehabilitation. An essential part of any alcohol treatment programme is to ensure the alcoholic is prepared for relapse as the early stages of recovery is perhaps when the individual is most vulnerable. The alcoholic will be leaving the alcohol rehabilitation having had 24/7 support from Support Workers, professional Addiction Counsellors and Medical Practitioners and must focus on maintaining their newly achieved sobriety.
Relapse Prevention Preparation at Alcohol Rehabilitation
Addiction Counsellors and Support Staff will help the recovering alcoholic to explore possible “risky” situations as they return to “real life”. For example, consider sitting down with a trusted friend and create a list of all the different situations, or possible emotions which could cause you to have a relapse. Next to it write a way in which you can deal with it without resorting to drugs or drink.
Nurture a Positive Image
Alcoholics often have a very negative view of themselves. It is important that internal negative dialogue is replaced with a healthy voice that reflects a good positive image. Consider creating a list of what you perceive as all your negative points. On the other side of the paper challenge those points with genuine positive statements. Keep this list with you so that when you find you are putting yourself down you can attempt to replace it with the positive statement you favour. The more you do this the more likely it is the negative thoughts will be replaced with the new positive image of yourself.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
We all need support and we all need a listening ear sometimes. This is essential at times of relapse. Never be afraid to ask for help from those you trust whether they are friends, family, self-help groups or professional addiction counsellors in the community. You will find they are glad you asked. By asking them, you are making them feel valued and needed. That is a precious gift. Asking for help is a brave step that means you are determined to maintain recovery.
Learn By Mistakes Made
The well-known quote from Alcoholic Anonymous is “One Day at a Time”. The philosophy behind it is there is likely to be relapses along your journey of recovery however it is vital to take each new day as a fresh start. The good news is we can learn from our mistakes to make our futures even better. Be proud of what you have done up to this time to heal yourself, and don’t be worried about relapsing in the future. Worrying is a waste of energy. Use that energy to put in place your plans for confronting those difficult times as they arise.
Of course the first part of any relapse prevention is getting treatment for alcohol addiction in the first place.