It’s Not Uncommon for Alcoholics to Relapse After Rehab, Learn Ways to Prevent Relapse and What to Do If One Occurs
For those unfamiliar with the challenges of excessive drinking and alcoholism, making it to sobriety can seem like the end of the road, but alcoholics and their families know better. Those with experience realize that achieving sobriety is the start of the journey, not the end and that if they are going to be successful, they will need to be prepared for a marathon and not a sprint.
It may be depressing to think about, but the hard truth is that it is not uncommon for alcoholics to relapse after rehab, and not everyone will succeed on their first try at sobriety. Being prepared for possible setbacks starts with knowing what percentage of alcoholics stay sober after treatment, and the answer to that question can be a bit nuanced.
Statistics About How Many Alcoholics Maintain Sobriety After Rehab
When it comes to alcoholism and sobriety, one thing is obvious: the early days of recovery are the most challenging and delicate. Statistics show that only one in five recovering alcoholics who successfully complete rehab will remain entirely free of alcohol for an entire year, with the remaining four in five experiencing some form of relapse.
These statistics may be troubling, but the good news is that relapse rates do go down over time. The longer your sobriety lasts, the greater the odds it will last even longer.
Why Do Alcoholics Relapse?
If you want to know what percentage of alcoholics stay sober after treatment, you first need to understand the factors that can stop newfound sobriety in its tracks. Recovering alcoholics face some unique challenges as they exit rehab and reenter society, and being prepared for these adverse events could be critical to long-lasting recovery.
Every recovering alcoholic will have their own individual triggers, but some of the most common reasons individuals relapse include:
- Adverse life events – It is easy for life to get in the way of even the most successful recovery, and things like a death in the family or the loss of a job can put enormous stress on the individual.
- Financial stress – Poor financial decisions and alcoholism often go hand in hand. The results of those decisions are likely to linger well into the early days of the newfound sobriety. These lingering financial stresses can significantly increase the odds of relapse.
- Familial problems – Arguments and disagreements with current spouses, ex-spouses, children, and other family members can also increase the risk of relapse and stop a new recovery in its tracks. Being prepared for these challenges is essential, and this preparation could be vital to maintaining hard-won sobriety.
- Lack of support from family and friends – Having the support of family members and friends is significant for those recovering from alcoholism, but sometimes that support is lacking or absent altogether. A lack of support by those closest to you could derail what had previously been a successful attempt at long-term sobriety.
- Substandard 12-step programs – Some parts of the country are blessed with a wealth of quality 12-step programs, but others are not so lucky. If the town you live in lacks a robust 12-step community, that could put your sobriety at risk.
How to Prevent Relapse
Relapse prevention is a crucial part of recovery for any alcoholic, and every individual will have a different approach to staying sober and maintaining their sanity. If you want to keep your recovery going, you need an intelligent strategy to make it happen.
Creating a relapse prevention strategy after alcohol detox and alcohol rehab should begin before you leave the treatment center. The counselors you meet with can give you some vital tips for getting started. This may include identifying your personal triggers, keeping a journal, writing down your feelings, and building a support structure of peers, mentors, family members, and friends. Putting it all together can help you develop a robust relapse prevention strategy, one you can fall back on when times get tough.
What to Do if Relapse Occurs
It is clear that many recovering alcoholics do eventually relapse, but falling off the wagon does not have to be the end of your sobriety. Relapsing does not have to mean failure, not if you respond in a positive manner and find a way to move on with confidence.
If you do relapse and lose your grip on sobriety, knowing what to do next could make all the difference. So instead of wallowing in your temporary failure, you should turn the situation around and find a path back to success.
That road back to success and sobriety begins with a simple phone call, so pick up the phone today and give the staff at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab a call or visit our alcohol rehab and alcohol detox center. We understand how difficult it can be to stay sober, but we also know that you can do it, and we encourage you to keep going.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.