While every recovering alcoholic will have their own specific triggers, common things that can cause a return to alcohol consumption include exposure to small amounts of alcohol (think visiting a BYOB restaurant with friends), stress (like job difficulties or relationship problems, and environmental factors like visiting a bar or restaurant where alcohol is served.
It is important to keep in mind that exposure to even a small amount of alcohol could trigger a relapse in the recovering alcoholic.
That exposure could be inadvertent, as in a gourmet meal cooked with wine or sherry, or casual, like attending a dinner party where wine is served with the meal. Some people in your life may not be familiar with your history, and they may unknowingly expose you to enough alcohol to trigger a relapse. Being open and honest with new people in your life can help you avoid these inadvertent triggers and avoid the dangers of relapse.
Identifying high risk situations and potential triggers is an important part of preventing relapse, but that is only the beginning. Once you have identified your triggers, it is important to get the right therapy and work hard to maintain your newfound sobriety. Taking a proactive approach to staying sober will be key, and the sooner you get started the better off you will be.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective ways to avoid relapse and gain the coping skills you will need to handle high risk situations with grace. In many cases relapse occurs because the individual in question does not know how to respond to the social pressure to drink. They may not know how to refuse a drink offered in good faith, and they may suffer a harmful relapse as a result.
Individuals who go on to suffer a relapse and go back to drinking may not have addressed the negative emotions or psychological conflicts that caused them to drink in the first place. Failing to address the root causes of the alcoholism sets the individual up for relapse and a return to drinking. That is why the best alcohol rehab centers work so hard to identify the factors that initially caused the problem drinking.
If you or someone you care about is struggling to stay sober and looking for resources that can help, just give us a call at 800-807-0951. We can assess the situation and help you get the resources you or your loved one needs to maintain their sobriety for a lifetime.