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Alcohol Relapse Warning Signs and What to Do About It

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May 25, 2021

Relapse prevention is a key part of staying sober from alcohol. Whether you just completed your alcohol detox treatment program or did it years ago, there is always the risk of a relapse. What are the alcohol relapse warning signs, and what can you do to prevent it?sad woman experiencing alcohol relapse warning signs

Signs That You May Be Close to a Relapse

Alcohol relapse warning signs aren’t always as evident as we think they are. Sometimes these signs can be subtle, tripping up those with the best intentions. It’s best to understand the warning signs of alcohol relapse so you can be prepared. Here are 3 tipoffs that you may be getting close to an alcohol relapse:

  1. You Catch Yourself “Playing with Fire.” In this type of scenario, you may find yourself getting a little too close to temptation. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever be around a temptation again, but if you probe your motives, you may find you’re putting yourself in a challenging situation because you’re having cravings. Playing with fire can lead to a relapse.
  2. You’re Extremely Stressed. Stress can lead to emotional upheaval and mental health problems. Some people cope well with stress, while others don’t. A person who has dealt with addiction in the past may be more susceptible to turning to drugs or alcohol when under pressure.
  3. You Recently Dealt with an Emotional Issue. Early warning signs of alcohol relapse could show up after you experience an unexpected event that devastates your life and emotions. Something like a divorce or the death of a loved one can cause people to escape to the bottle. People may use alcohol to numb their emotions so they can bear the pain.

Relapse Prevention Strategies

It’s helpful to have a relapse prevention strategy already in place so that you’ll know what to do if you feel like you might start drinking again. One of the most important strategies you can implement even before something triggers you is to attend outpatient therapy. By participating in addiction therapy sessions, you will have the opportunity to discuss any issues that concern you. Your therapist can help you work through your struggles with stress or emotional problems.

Also, surround yourself with supportive people you can count on in a tight spot. If things start getting rocky in between your therapy appointments, you will have someone you can talk to instead of turning to alcohol.stressed woman at doctors showing alcohol relapse warning signs

Finally, take time for self-care and healthy practices. You are more likely to stick to your health goals when you feel well. Self-care could include getting plenty of rest (so you’re not prone to added stress), eating healthy, exercising, getting a massage, taking warm baths, practicing relaxation, going on vacation, and so on.

Seek Relapse Prevention Treatment

Begin your relapse prevention program by joining an outpatient addiction treatment program. Contact American Addiction Centers to find out more information today.

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