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Dealing with chronic addiction relapse

Recovery from alcohol addiction can be a difficult road, but the rewards are well worth the trials. Some of the toughest periods on the road to recovery occur when the recovering alcoholic returns to normal life outside of the treatment centre. It is important to have a number of strategies prepared to help minimise the chances of a relapse.

Recovery from a drink problem is a journey. Although a rewarding and enlightening journey, solutions are not seen overnight and there are likely to be a great deal of hurdles along the way. It is a journey that the sufferer cannot make alone and requires the support of family and friends and professional assistance. Sometimes, just like the onset of abusive drinking, signs that the alcoholic is falling back into old habits and behaviours can be very surreptitious and often the sufferer is the last one to know. So a good knowledge of the signs of a potential relapse is an essential tool for remaining secure during the journey.

Create Strategies for when leaving the Alcohol rehab clinic

If initial recovery has been in an alcohol rehabilitation centre, such as Life Works, the support staff or the addiction counsellor will help you with forming strategies as an essential part of your recovery programme. It is important for the alcoholic to imagine themselves back in their home situation and in scenarios where the temptation to take a drink will be present. Could there be peer pressure? Are some situations likely to be more stressful than others? Can there be a possibility of returning to old haunts? Create a template script for dealing with difficult situations – and a back up script if it is not working.

Repress Unacceptable Negatives

Alcoholics and drug abusers often have a very negative view of themselves and is often a central reason for the original drug abuse. During recovery these fundamental issues will be highlighted and professional support in alcohol rehabilitation will help create an honest and more positive self-image. However on returning to a real life situation, the recovering alcoholic will find themselves still drawn towards the old image of themselves without the support of the alcohol worker. It is therefore useful to create strategies where that accepted image is present all the time. As time passes it will happen by rote. One way of doing this is to sit down and create 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.

Never try to confront problems alone

There is an underlying feeling in us all that if we confront a problem alone we have been very brave and very clever – that if we had asked for help we would have been weak. With alcohol treatment to attempt to go it alone is simply foolish and destined for failure. Networking with others who are recovering and been through the same problems as yourself can be an invaluable support. There are numerous groups and charities that offer support, “buddying” and aid to family members as well. The alcoholic should hold on to the philosophy that “feeling tempted” is not a weakness. To deal with it by asking for help if necessary – even if it means just talking it over with a close confidante – is a great strength.

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