Honor the power of your voice and begin your journey with us today!
Honor the power of your voice and begin your journey with us today!

How To Help Someone Going Through an Alcoholism Relapse

For those recovering from an alcohol addiction, relapse is a very real risk and one that can be crushing for their sobriety journey. If you know someone who is going through an alcohol relapse, it is important to know how to be there for them and help them stay on track with their recovery.

What Is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, more commonly referred to by its medical term alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a medical condition that is characterized by a person’s impaired ability to stop or control their alcohol use despite this having negative effects on their social lives, occupations, or health.

An AUD is considered to be a brain disorder ranging from mild, moderate, or severe. This condition causes lasting changes in the brain due to prolonged periods of alcohol misuse and abuse, causing those who suffer from AUD highly prone to relapse.

Anyone can be at risk of alcohol abuse, but there are certain factors that can increase the likelihood. Some of the most common risk factors that can make a person more prone to developing an AUD include:

  • Individual factors: This can include age, with those in their preteens and early 20s being more prone to alcohol abuse, gender, with women being considered more susceptible to the negative side effects of alcohol, and genetics, such as having a family history of alcohol abuse.
  • Social factors: Drinking is often seen as a normal part of social life, and people may feel pressure to drink to fit in. People who live in areas where alcohol is readily available are also more likely to abuse it.
  • Environmental factors: Stressful life events can trigger alcohol abuse. This is especially true for people who don’t have a strong support system or who live in poverty, making them more likely to abuse alcohol.
  • Mental health: People with depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions are more likely to abuse alcohol as a means of coping with the negative side effects of their disorders.

These are just a few of the contributing factors to alcohol abuse and addiction. It is important to remember that anyone is capable of developing an AUD, regardless of their background. According to the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 29.5 million people ages 12 and older were reported to have an AUD in the past year.

While these numbers are significant, it is worth noting that addiction prevention and treatment services have continued to increase in an effort to combat the spread of alcohol abuse across the nation.

Why Do People Experience Alcoholism Relapse?

Relapse is a complex issue with no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are several key factors that can contribute to it. Some of the most common reasons why people experience alcoholism relapse include:

  • Triggers: These are situations, people, places, or things that remind the person of their past addictive behavior and can trigger cravings or urges to use again, such as stress, anxiety, being offered drugs, or visiting old drug haunts.
  • Negative emotions: People with addictions often turn to substances as a way to cope with difficult emotions like stress, anxiety, depression, or anger. Without healthy coping mechanisms, they are more likely to relapse when faced with these emotions.
  • Mental health concerns: Many people with addictions also have co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD. These disorders can make it more difficult to manage stress and emotions, which can increase the risk of relapse.
  • Lack of social support: A strong support network is essential for recovery. If someone does not have people they can turn to for support when they are struggling, they will be more likely to relapse.
  • Changes in routine: Major life changes, such as a job loss, a death in the family, or a move, can disrupt a person’s recovery and increase their risk of relapse.
  • Physical health problems: Pain, discomfort, or other physical health problems can lead some people to use substances as a way to self-medicate.

It is important to remember that relapse is not a sign of failure. This is a very common part of the recovery process and can be overcome with the right tools and support. Understanding your loved one’s alcohol addiction and reasons for relapse can help you support them during this time.

What Are the Dangers of Long-Term Alcohol Abuse?

If you or a loved one is abusing alcohol, it is important to understand how this can affect you in the long term. Chronic alcohol abuse can also have a wide range of serious and even life-threatening consequences, including: 

  • Physical Health Effects: This includes damage to vital organs like the liver, brain, heart, and pancreas, brain Impairment, weakened immune system, nutritional deficiencies, and increased risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Mental Health Effects: Alcohol abuse can exacerbate existing mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, or contribute to new ones, as well as lead to addiction and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
  • Social and Relational Impact: Alcohol abuse can lead to strained relationships, academic or job problems, financial strain, and legal issues.

Because of how serious the side effects of long-term alcohol abuse can be, it is important to understand your loved one’s recovery process and how you can help them stay on track with their sobriety.

How to Help Someone Going Through an Alcohol Relapse

Helping someone going through an alcohol relapse can be challenging, but it is important to remember that recovery is possible and your support can make a significant difference. Here are some steps you can take to help someone going through an alcohol relapse:

  • Express compassion and support: Let them know you care and are concerned for their well-being. Avoid judging or blaming them, as this can push them further away. Instead, listen to their feelings and validate their struggles by acknowledging the difficulty of relapse.
  • Be a safe space and avoid enabling: It is important to support their recovery by avoiding activities that could trigger further alcohol use, such as going to bars or keeping alcohol in the house. You can also offer alternative activities to combat cravings and replace substance use with healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is crucial when supporting someone in recovery. Set healthy boundaries, ensure you have your own support system and resources to avoid burnout and engage in activities that bring you joy and help manage stress.

It is also important to remember that, if your loved one’s relapse is past the point of your help, it is in both your and the relapsing individual’s best interest to seek professional treatment. You can offer to help them find resources or even accompany them to appointments, and rest easy knowing they are getting the best help possible.

What Is Alcohol Treatment Like?

At Royal Life Centers, we understand how complex alcohol addiction can be and specialize in helping individuals rebuild their relationships with themselves and their loved ones as they navigate their recovery journey.

Our programs provide a safe space for recovery in the face of relapse, with a wide range of tools and resources capable of addressing every aspect of your loved one’s substance abuse. We work with a fully licensed and accredited addiction treatment network to provide our guests with a full continuum of care including detox, rehabilitation, and aftercare.

During treatment, we will work with your loved one to build an individualized treatment plan that meets each of their specific care needs, incorporating evidence-based therapies, holistic treatments, and support groups. When your loved one is recovering at one of our facilities, they will focus on restoring their mind, body, and spirit.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment Options at Royal Life Centers

If you or a loved one is suffering from an alcoholism relapse, we can get you the support you need right away. From our detox program to our residential and outpatient treatment, evidence-based therapies, holistic treatments, and aftercare services, we are capable of meeting each of your care needs.

We accept most private insurance policies and offer affordable self-pay rates if you are not covered by insurance to make sure you are getting the treatment you need at a price you can afford. Call us and we will help you or your loved one get started on the path to recovery today.

Our experienced team of addiction specialists will work closely with you to identify the best treatment for your needs. If you are concerned about a loved one’s anxiety and prescription medication use or have questions about our treatment options, please contact us at 877-732-6837.

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