Alcohol Relapse

Can’t Put Down the Bottle? 9 Things to Do After Alcohol Relapse

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 14.1 million adults in the U.S. struggled with alcohol use disorder in 2019. This group includes 8.9 million men and 5.2 million women.

Only about 7.9% of adults with AUD received treatment for this disorder, however. Alcohol abuse can also affect family relationships, 10% of children have a parent who struggles with alcohol abuse. 

Alcoholism is a serious issue for many and if you’ve fallen into alcohol relapse there are some things you should do to prevent another one. Keep reading to find out what they are. 

1. Stop Immediately

A relapse can feel very discouraging after it happens. You might feel like continuing to drink doesn’t make a difference since you already messed up. 

If you stop drinking as soon as you’ve recognized your relapse it’ll make each step after much easier to navigate. Don’t isolate yourself, jump right into the necessary steps to stop the drinking and get back on track toward recovery. 

When you start letting bad habits back into your life, it becomes harder to break them with each day that passes.

2. Attend a Meeting 

Dealing with alcohol relapse is a hard moment in anyone’s life. Admitting that you strayed from the path and stumbled after all the progress you’ve made is hard but taking responsibility for your actions is a crucial thing you must do after a relapse. 

Once you’ve accepted where you are in life you’ll be able to move forward and get the help you need to get back on track. Attending an AA meeting is one way to move forward. You’ll be able to speak about what you’re experiencing and hear the stories of others who are going through or have gone through the same struggles. 

Reaching out to your sponsor is also crucial. Sharing the details of your relapse and working together to start your recovery steps once again will get you focused on staying sober. 

3. Reach Out for Support 

No one gets through tough times alone, especially when it comes to relapse. Surrounding yourself with supportive and positive people can make a difference in how you move forward after a relapse. 

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Reaching out to loved ones who care about your wellbeing or friends who’ve struggled with similar hardships can make starting the process over again easier. If you have people to cheer you on along the way, you’ll be more likely to stay on the track. 

4. Understand What Triggered You 

It’s important to analyze the events of your life that led to your relapse. This will help you learn where you went wrong and help you identify some changes you might have to make to prevent another relapse. 

Triggers for alcohol relapse are varied but you can pinpoint yours by thinking about some of the things going on in your life. Stressful events, certain people, or places can all trigger you to crave and abuse alcohol. 

Once you’ve learned about what triggers you then you can begin to work with professionals who can help you with your alcohol abuse. They will teach you healthy coping mechanisms to avoid your triggers or how to deal when confronted by one. 

5. Look for a Treatment Center If Necessary 

If you’ve gone to a treatment center for alcoholism before, you know how helpful it can to the process. If your relapse has made it hard for you to get back to where you were then consider checking into a facility. 

In a treatment center, you’ll be fully immersed in your recovery and working with a team of professionals ready to help you get back on track. 

6. Try to Rebuild Your Relationships 

Alcoholism and relapse don’t just affect your own life, they impact all the relationships you have as well. After taking the steps to get back toward a healthy recovery after relapse it’s important to try to mend some of the relationships that have been damaged as a result of your alcohol abuse. 

Rebuilding relationships after that kind of pain is hard by it’s a necessary step to getting better. Reaching out to a loved one you’ve hurt is the first step to take when trying to make amends. 

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Breaking someone’s trust isn’t easy to come back from but speaking honestly and looking forward are some of the best ways to try to repair the damage you’ve done. 

7. Create a New Recovery Plan 

A relapse doesn’t mean your recovery plan failed. This is just an indication that it needs to be adjusted. 

Whether you choose to enter treatment or work with your sponsor, making a new plan to move forward is important.

This new plan will give you the tools necessary to continue on the journey once you’ve left treatment or when another trigger shows up in your life. 

8. New Hobbies Can Help 

While taking on too much can add stress to your life and this can be a trigger for relapse, new hobbies can help center you back into regular life. 

Free time with your thoughts can lead you to drink again. Find healthy and fun activities to occupy the free time you have instead. Whether you’re interested in learning a new sport or cooking, creatively challenging yourself can help you during your journey. 

9. Prepare for the Process 

Trying to get back on track after relapsing is hard. After completing the important steps above, the next step after relapse is to prepare yourself for what’s coming. 

You might struggle with self-doubt and low motivation but going through the steps and seeking treatment will help you through that. While you shouldn’t stall in your thoughts and allow negativity to fill them, reflecting on what you learned during your relapse can help. 

What You Should Do After an Alcohol Relapse

An alcohol relapse can send your life into a whirlwind. This guide walks you through some important steps to take after relapsing. Seeking help and working to mend your relationships is crucial. 

Make sure to check out some of the other blogs on our site to learn more.