Alcohol Relapse Prevention & Recovery

Sunrise Recovery Ranch provides alcohol addiction treatment rooted in a science-based, research-supported clinical model to ensure a healthier, more satisfying life, without addiction.

Understanding Alcohol Addiction Relapse

Understanding alcohol addiction & relapse prevention

One of the most common types of addiction in the United States, alcoholism has taken a toll on innumerable individuals and families. Alcohol addiction, or alcohol use disorder, can be particularly challenging to treat, due to the fact that alcohol is a readily available substance that is socially acceptable to imbibe in many circumstances. Depending on the severity of one’s drinking, withdrawal from alcohol can be intensely painful, and even life-threatening without the support of qualified professionals. For these reasons and many more, completing a program for alcohol dependence must be viewed in a light of bravery and strength.

Many men and women who wish to cease drinking and regain control over their lives find success in a residential treatment program. These programs offer the opportunity to rid one’s body of substances of abuse and focus one’s time exclusively on healing. Of the many supports available to individuals enrolled in a residential treatment program, aftercare planning is vital for maintaining sobriety after one has been discharged. Of course, once one leaves the highly structured environment of a treatment center, the risk of relapse becomes elevated. But with a comprehensive aftercare plan, the men and women exiting treatment will have the tools they need to stay the course toward long-term sobriety.

Why Do People Relapse?

Reasons why people relapse from alcohol addiction

When an individual successfully completes a program of care but begins drinking once again, this is referred to as a relapse. People relapse for many reasons, but just because someone has experienced this type of setback does not mean that he or she is unable to once again regain control. Experts in the recovery community know that relapse is common, and while it does not signal weakness or a lack of commitment to one’s goals, it does mean the additional support is likely needed.

While an individual is in treatment, time should be devoted to identifying his or her own risks for relapse so that they might be prevented when that person exits residential care. No two people are alike, however, there are some common scenarios that have been known to prompt an individual to compromise his or her sobriety. The following briefly describes just a few of these scenarios:

  • Physiological cravings to drink as a means of coping with stressful situations
  • Encountering people or places that may invoke memories of drinking, or illicit pressure to drink again
  • Interacting with individuals who are unsupportive of your choice to work towards recovery
  • Untreated symptoms of co-occurring mental illness
  • An underestimation of one’s ability to stop after “just one drink”
  • Failure to adhere to one’s aftercare plan

How to Prevent Relapse

How to prevent alcohol relapse at our treatment center in Riverside, CA

A quality treatment center will ensure that aftercare planning is a priority, and will begin making plans for an individual’s success upon leaving treatment as soon as he or she enrolls in the program. This is because without a solid plan in place for accessing supports after a person is discharged from treatment, he or she is more likely to experience a relapse. Alcohol dependence cannot be eradicated after a single stay in a residential treatment center, but rather, is a challenging addiction that will require vigilance throughout an individual’s life. Fortunately, there are many options available that can encourage lasting sobriety for the men and women who are returning to their families and the responsibilities of daily living outside of treatment. A few of the many ways one can prevent a relapse are briefly described in the following:

  • Join a support group in your community like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) so that you can benefit from the support of others who have had similar struggles with addiction.
  • Rely on your sponsor for accountability and for a listening ear in those times when you may be tempted to drink. If you do not have a sponsor, seek one out.
  • Reach out to supportive loved ones who want to see that you remain true to your goals for sober living.
  • Engage in a daily practice of the coping skills you learned in treatment, and seek to expand your list of self-soothing behaviors that you can rely on in times of temptation.
  • Manage your time wisely; create a daily schedule and stick to it.
  • Avoid places and situations that may prompt you to crave alcohol either out of habit or stress.
  • Steer clear of individuals who may seek to undermine your resolve and are unsupportive of healthy choices.
  • If temptation and cravings to drink continue to plague your body and mind, consider re-enrolling in treatment so that you can access whatever level of care you need to stay sober.

If you or a loved one is seeking help for an addiction to alcohol, the program at Sunrise Recovery Ranch is here to help. Our staff will assist you in each step of the process, providing a plan of care that reflects your goals for sobriety long after you leave our treatment center. To learn more about our comprehensive aftercare planning process, and the ways we can assist you on your path to a more healthy future, please reach out to us today.

Take A Free Online Assessment:

I let alcohol destroy and ruin my personal life. I'd had enough, so I went to Sunrise. Thanks to the caring and compassionate staff at Sunrise, I'm now sober!

– Steve H.
Marks of Quality care
Our accreditations show our focus on quality care.
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
  • California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)