Home » Alcohol Relapse And Addiction: What Happens When You Fail At Prevention?

Alcohol Relapse And Addiction: What Happens When You Fail At Prevention?

– Are you or any of your loved ones into alcohol addiction? 

– Are you looking for ways to quit your addiction?

– Are you afraid of the relapse period? 

Here in this article, we will guide you with the necessary details about alcohol addiction and especially relapse. When a person develops a dependency on alcohol, it is considered an addiction. 

During the recovery treatment, or even after the recovery treatment is completed and the person has started to leave a sober life, a risk of going back to the addiction always remains. 

At the same time, there are a lot of options for relapse prevention during addiction recovery treatment.  To know more, visit Infinite Recovery website

In this article, we will offer you a guide on the different types of relapse and the major risk factors. Let us start with the definition of alcohol relapse. 


 Alcohol Relapse And Addiction

The Definition Of Alcohol Relapse

After a period of sobriety, when an individual again returns to consuming alcohol, it is called a relapse. You might have an idea about the lapse, which is a brief “slip” where a person might drink alcohol, but then immediately stop again. 

At the same time, relapse is the time when the individual makes a full-blown come back to drinking alcohol as chronic alcohol consumption can cause several functional and also structural brain alterations, several individuals who are recovering from addiction experience a consistently high risk of relapse. 

It persists beyond the period that sobriety was obtained first. 

Stages Of Relapse

The key to relapse prevention lies in understanding that relapse takes place gradually. Before several months or weeks, someone picks up alcohol drinking, relapse begins. 

The main goal of relapse prevention is to make the person understand the early warning signs along with developing coping skills for preventing relapse early in the process. 

This is the time when the chances of success rate are the highest. When it comes to relapse it can occur in three different stages. Here they are. 


Stage 1: Emotional Relapse

During the emotional relapse, the addicted people do not even think about using the substance. Those individuals always remember their last relapse and thus do not want to repeat it. However, their behaviors and emotions are setting them up for relapse.  

As they are not consciously thinking about consuming alcohol during this particular stage. A huge part of emotional relapse is denial. Here are some of the signs of emotional relapse. 

  • Isolating.
  • Bottling up emotions.
  • Not going to meetings.
  • Focusing on others.
  • Going to meetings but not sharing. 
  • Poor sleeping and eating habits.

Stage 2: Mental Relapse

During a mental relapse, a continuous war goes on inside the individual’s mind. A part of them wants to consume alcohol, while the other part of them restrict themselves from using it. 

As the person goes deeper into the mental relapse, their cognitive resistance of relapsing eliminates, and also their requirement for escape increases. 

Here are some of the common signs of mental relapses. 

  • Thinking about things, places, and people associated with the past use. 
  • Bargaining.
  • Craving for alcohol.
  • Looking for relapse opportunities.
  • Lying.
  • Glamorizing or minimizing consequences of past use. 
  • Thinking of schemes in order to better control using. 
  • Planning a relapse. 


Stage 3: Physical Relapse

Physical relapse is the last stage when the person starts consuming alcohol again. Usually, most researchers divide the physical relapse stage into two parts; one is the initial drinking or “lapse,” and the other one is a complete comeback to uncontrolled alcohol consumption or “relapse.” 

As per clinical experiences, when an individual focuses too strongly, particularly on how much they consumed during a lapse, the person does not completely appreciate the consequences of one drink. 

Once the individual has one drink, it might lead to a relapse of uncontrolled consumption. However, more importantly, all these eventually lead to mental relapse of uncontrolled or obsessive thinking about consuming alcohol that eventually may lead to physical relapse. 


Relapse Risk Factor

You always have to remember that relapse does not occur without any triggering factors. A number of risk factors work together in the case of alcohol relapse. 

Risk 1: Exposure To Triggers

Old places, things, and people always work as the triggers to any substance abuse. Apart from that, when it comes to alcohol addiction, exposure to triggers is more severe. 

Risk 2: Interpersonal Problems

Any type of interpersonal problem world as the major reason for alcohol relapse. As we have mentioned in the emotional and mental relapse stage, several emotions and mental thinking and condition play huge roles in relapse. 

Risk 3: Stress

In most cases, we usually find that in order to cope with the stress, the individual has developed an addiction towards alcohol. Just the same way, too much stress or the stress of quitting alcohol can lead to relapse. 

Risk 4: Lack Of Social Support

Our society considers addiction as a “bad habit.” Most of us do not know that it is actually a particular health condition. As a result, the individual does not get enough support from society and their close ones. As a result, they lose hope and again go back to alcohol. 

Risk 5: Peer Pressure

Whether it is developing an addiction or the occurrence of relapse, peer pressure will always be there. In order to accompany a friend or colleague, or in order to enjoy with others like usual, the individual might start drinking alcohol in several events. Eventually, without having a single idea, they develop the addiction again, and relapse happens. 

Risk 6: Low Self-efficacy

The confidence in your own ability to succeed in a particular area is considered self-efficacy. As per several studies, individuals who have low self-efficacy in their own abilities to stay sober always have a higher risk of relapsing compared to those with a sense of mastery over their sobriety. 

Risk 7: Positive Moods

You might be surprised to know that, apart from negative emotions, positive emotions also work as risk factors of alcohol relapse. The logic is really simple. When you are happy, you will try to think about doing those things which will enhance your good feeling by drinking alcohol.

Alcohol Relapse And Addiction is a feature post 

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