If you have never suffered from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you probably think that getting sober would be the hardest thing you could ever do. But if you have struggled with such an addiction, you know that the initial recovery is only the beginning of a very long process.
Simply put, getting and staying sober is a lifelong struggle and not a one time event.
No matter how good your intentions, the temptations are always there, and learning to control and overcome them is one of the most important parts of an effective rehab and recovery program.
In some ways relapse prevention is even more critical for problem drinkers and alcoholics than for users of illegal drugs. Unlike cocaine and heroin, alcohol is everywhere in society and an accepted part of everyday life. The ubiquitous nature of alcohol use can make avoiding relapse that much harder, and that is why the coping skills you learn now will be so critical as you move forward.
There are a number of approaches to avoiding relapse after successfully overcoming a dependence on alcohol. If you are a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or a similar group, attending regular meetings and fostering the support of your sponsor and peers will be a critical part of your continuing recovery. Groups like AA have a strong track record of success, not only in helping problem drinkers quit but in allowing them to maintain their newfound sobriety.
Even if you are not a formal AA member, you can still benefit from their experience through peer support, ongoing counseling, family therapy and other methods. The staff at the rehab center can help you find the appropriate meetings and guide you through this part of the process.
No matter which approach you take to preventing relapse, one of the most important things you need to do is recognize the triggers that could cause you to start drinking again. Everyone, even the strongest among us, have their specific triggers, and recognizing them will be critical to your continued success.