Alcohol Relapse: Warning Signs, Triggers & Prevention

For those struggling with alcohol addiction or considering returning to drinking after sobriety, seeking professional help is highly recommended. Therapy, support groups, and other resources can provide invaluable assistance in managing addiction and maintaining recovery. Receiving professional guidance can empower individuals to take control of their recovery journey and resist the temptation of drinking alcohol after therapy. A personalized relapse prevention plan is essential for maintaining sobriety, as it helps individuals identify triggers, develop coping strategies, and set achievable goals. By taking proactive steps, such as staying mindful of triggers, using coping strategies, and seeking help when needed, individuals can stay on track with their relapse prevention plan and enjoy a fulfilling sober life.

drinking again after sobriety

An alcohol relapse means you go back to drinking regularly after having a period of sobriety without the use of alcohol. Becoming sober is a gradual process that can take weeks, months, or years. Many people battle with lapses and relapses during their recovery journey.

comments to What To Do If An Alcoholic Drinks Again

Check out our roundup of sober-friendly activities in and around Charleston this weekend to get in the spooky spirit. The truth is, it doesn’t matter how other people drink, how often, or what happens when they do. Experience has shown me – time and again – that a great life and alcohol don’t mix.

As no two persons are the same, people experience emotional sobriety differently. BetterHelp offers affordable mental health care via phone, video, or live-chat. Feeling guilty or embarrassed of past behaviors or actions is natural. Get support to work through it and try not to be too hard on yourself. Alcohol addiction is a continuous and treatable medical condition that involves your brain, genetics, and environment. Even after admitting you have an alcohol problem, you may question whether that’s true.

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The recovering person may talk themselves into drinking again by creating a strategy for achieving moderation. Or they may have simply acted out of urgency when triggered by stress. A person in recovery with an AUD may justify drinking by avoiding hard liquor drinking again after sobriety and only drinking beer or wine, but unfortunately, the disease does not differentiate, and it’s a slippery slope. To justify drinking, people in recovery might pledge not to drink before a certain time of the day or on specific days of the week.

Alcohol addiction experts have long been aware that stress increases the risk of alcohol relapse. One of the reasons for this is that stress can increase the risk of low mood and anxiety, which in turn are linked to alcohol cravings. The first step to long-term sobriety is to safely rid your body of alcohol (detoxification or detox), so it can start to regain normal function and balance.

What Percentage of Alcoholics Relapse?

Environmental factors, such as family history, peer pressure, and stress, can also contribute to a person’s risk of developing AUD. Being aware of these factors is crucial when considering drinking alcohol again after a period of sobriety. By understanding the complex interplay between genetics and environmental factors, individuals can better navigate the challenges of long-term recovery and make decisions that support their well-being. However, for some, the physical symptoms will continue even after seven days. If you’re still experiencing physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms after a week, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately. Alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, and alcohol addiction fall under the clinical diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD).

  • Depending on the severity of the alcohol use disorder, the body may repair functions damaged by alcohol quickly.
  • I was sure I could moderate my drinking since I had totally abstained for so long.
  • With a slip-up, you might have a drink, but you quickly realize it’s the wrong path for you, and it doesn’t go further.
  • One 2020 study found potential benefits of combining in-person and online support methods.

For example, alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B) and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) are known to be linked to alcohol consumption and alcoholism. Understanding these genetic factors can help individuals make informed decisions to stop drinking alcohol. For a recovering alcoholic, having just one drink can be the catalyst for a full-blown relapse. Alcohol alters brain chemistry, reduces inhibitions, and blurs judgment, potentially weakening willpower and leading to alcohol dependence. This slippery slope can make it extremely difficult for individuals to maintain control over their drinking habits, even if they initially intended to practice casual drinking. While it is heartbreaking when those in recovery relapse, it is never too late to start over and get help.