Relapse is a condition that many alcoholics are often anxious about. This is because the rate of alcohol relapse is very high. In fact, according to a study, around 40 to 60% of people treated for alcoholism relapse within a year. Talk show host Wendy Williams is just one of these people who admitted that she suffered from a relapse early in 2019. According to reports, Wendy Williams’s relapse was triggered by the discovery that her longtime husband had fathered a child with his mistress. Just like Wendy, personal dilemmas such as infidelity can often cause many people in recovery to relapse. But how about for others? What are some reasons why alcoholics relapse?
While there are many complex reasons and triggers for relapse, we listed down some of the common reasons why alcoholics reach for that bottle again to drown their emotional issues.
They stop going for treatment
Going into rehab is not an instant solution that can cure substance addiction. Recovery is an ongoing process that goes beyond the walls of an addiction treatment center. This is something that a lot of people fail to recognize that’s why they become vulnerable to relapse.
After the completion of an inpatient rehab program, the treatment does not stop there. They have to attend regular group meetings and follow-up sessions to maintain their recovery. This is because the real struggle is when they are back outside in their own environments. When people in recovery stop going to required sessions and meetings, the likelihood of relapse increases, especially if they have only recently finished inpatient treatment.
Work and financial stress
The stresses people face associated with their jobs and their financial struggles are some of the primary reasons why people start abusing drugs and alcohol in the first place. They use these substances to forget their problems and as a means of temporary relief. However, instead of helping, these substances can worsen the situation as it can result in people becoming unproductive in their work and having this habit can even drain them financially.
Many people who get out of rehab often find themselves without jobs and this can be difficult for them financially. This can be really frustrating which can push them to drink or use drugs again because this is how they were used to dealing with these situations.
Another potential issue is when they are once again faced with work demands and they are unable to manage this properly. Jobs that are physically and mentally stressful can push people to drink again when they want to seek sleep and relaxation. Worse, they may turn to prescription medications as well if alcohol is not enough.
Family and relationship conflicts
Personal relationships play a major role in a person’s recovery. A lot of times, issues with family members and loved ones can become too overwhelming for people in recovery to handle. These conflicts can be a trigger for them to relapse. If you are a loved one of a person who relapsed, this does not mean, however, that the relapse is your fault. Don’t blame yourself, instead, find ways on how you can support your loved one towards starting over again.
For those who are single, dating while in recovery is often not advised especially if the person has not passed one year of sobriety. This is because going into a new relationship introduces emotional demands that a person in recovery may not be ready to give. Arguments and heartbreak brought about by a new relationship can often be a trigger for relapse.
Some people who seem like they are doing so well only to suddenly relapse for no clear or apparent reason. They have a great job, they are doing well financially, and they have supportive loved ones sticking with them in their recovery. So, what happened.
According to an article in Psychology Today, this can be a case of self-sabotage. This happens when former alcoholics may feel that they do not deserve the good life that they are currently experiencing so they consciously do something to mess it up. It is also possible that they are afraid that their sober streak will not last so instead of constantly being anxious that this will happen, they just self-sabotage.
Lack of a support system
One of the most important factors in maintaining sobriety is having a strong network who will be there to guide and remind people in recovery why they need to stay sober. Whatever trigger they face or whatever issues arise, this support system can help them get over the hard and difficult moments. A person’s support network can be composed of family, friends, sober buddies, AA group friends, and rehab coaches.
When a person does not have a strong support network, feelings of aloneness and depression may develop. This could lead to relapse. It is also more difficult to deal with different triggers if there is no one to remind them or keep them accountable for their actions.
A strong support network will also be able to help a person find new passions and pursue amazing goals. This can help a person in starting a brand-new chapter and in realizing that there is a fulfilling life in recovery.
If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol abuse, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today.