Alcohol addiction treatment continues to be highly effective.  However, there is a real possibility that a relapse may be encountered in the weeks, months and even years following treatment.

At present, it is estimated that relapse rates among those who have completed alcohol addiction treatment lie between 40 and 60%.

Although the above information can be somewhat disheartening to learn, it is crucial to understand that alcohol addiction recovery is a somewhat complicated process.

If a friend, family member or employee has previously sought treatment for alcohol addiction, and you are worried that they may have relapsed, you will likely want to uncover how to help an alcoholic who has relapsed.

Should this resonate with you, at Addiction Advocates, we have shared a wealth of ways that you can help an alcoholic who has relapsed here.

 

What Is A Relapse?

Before sharing how to help an alcoholic who has relapsed, it is important to understand what a relapse is.

Defined as the worsening of a medical condition that had previously improved, an alcohol relapse sees recovering alcoholics once again consume alcohol.

 

What Causes Relapse?

When considering what causes an individual to relapse, it is crucial to understand that just as many factors contribute to the development of alcohol addiction, many factors contribute to whether an individual is at risk of relapsing.

However, as alcohol addictions are psychological disorders, relapses often signal that a recovering alcoholic is struggling to cope.  This could be because triggers once again surround them.

Although many relapses occur within the first three months of sobriety, some individuals relapse years after completing addiction treatment.  In this instance, underlying factors such as mental health disorders could be to blame.

 

How To Help An Alcoholic Who Has Relapsed

With a greater understanding of what relapses are and what often causes them, we have shared a number of ways that you can help an alcoholic who has relapsed below.

 

Understand The Signs and Symptoms Associated with Relapse

Although you may not believe that taking the time to understand the signs and symptoms associated with relapse is important, doing so will enable you to determine if an alcoholic has relapsed.

If you can ascertain whether an alcoholic has relapsed, you will be able to ensure that they seek appropriate support.

Below, we have outlined several physical and behavioural symptoms that will likely occur as a result of a relapse.

  • Consuming alcohol once again
  • Expressing that they feel as though they need an alcoholic drink
  • Appearing to be somewhat irritable
  • Appearing to be stressed
  • Isolation from others
  • Wanting to be alone
  • Lack of interest in their hobbies
  • Lack of desire to employ coping strategies devised in rehab
  • Reduced attendance at recovery support groups

 

Initiate A Supportive And Empathetic Conversation

When a relapse occurs, those subject to addictions often express feeling as though they have failed and not given their recovery their all.

With this in mind, if you are hoping to help an alcoholic who has relapsed, we recommend having a supportive and empathetic conversation with them.

Although they may be reluctant to discuss their relapse with you due to the emotions encountered, ensuring that your friend, loved one or employee knows that you are there for them could prevent them from allowing their relapse to control their life.

Likewise, initiating a conversation with the alcoholic who has relapsed could provide them with the psychological and physical support they need to contact a drug and alcohol rehab to seek professional help.

 

Offer Reassurance

In addition to initiating a supportive and empathetic conversation, offering reassurance to the alcoholic who has relapsed may help them realise that they are not alone.

This reassurance could essentially help an alcoholic who has relapsed avoid negative thoughts, such as “I am a failure” or “I am not good enough”, which could otherwise cause a relapse to intensify.

 

Encourage Them To Make Contact With Their Sponsor or Recovery Support Worker

Irrespective of the rehab that the alcoholic who has relapsed attended, as part of their aftercare support, they will likely have either a sponsor or a recovery support worker.

If an alcoholic experiences a relapse, we would advise you to encourage them to make contact with their sponsor or recovery support worker.  This will enable them to seek immediate help and treatment, should it be needed.

Although many recovering alcoholics will be hesitant to contact their sponsor or recovery support worker as they will be worried about how they will be perceived should they admit that they have relapsed, doing so could essentially save their life.

 

Make Contact With A Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Although the tips shared above are extremely beneficial, if you are concerned that a loved one, friend or employee is displaying signs and symptoms that signal they have relapsed, we highly recommend making contact with a drug and alcohol rehab.

In doing so, you will find that tailored advice and guidance is provided to help you understand how to help an alcoholic who has relapsed.

Contacting a drug and alcohol rehab will also provide you with the opportunity to refer an alcoholic who has relapsed for additional addiction treatment.

 

Contact Us Today

Helping an alcoholic who has relapsed can be somewhat challenging.  However, it is important to understand that you are not alone.

Although you may want to independently help an alcoholic who has relapsed regain control of their life and disorder once again, you must seek professional support.

If you are concerned that someone you know has relapsed, here at Addiction Advocates, we can help you refer them for treatment at a suitable drug and alcohol rehab in the United Kingdom.  We can also offer you guidance and support that will greatly benefit both yourself and the alcoholic who has relapsed.

To contact us, please call us today on 0800 012 6088.  Alternatively, chat with us online now or request a callback from a member of our team.

 

Sources 

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-relapse-22106

https://www.tpoftampa.com/how-common-is-relapse-after-rehab-and-how-can-it-be-avoided/