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Avoiding Alcohol Relapse During Recovery

With warmer weather here, the outdoors social scene is heating up. Parties, cookouts, and beach trips can all be fun ways to unwind. Unfortunately, these and other spring and summer activities may expose a recovering alcoholic to temptation. One of the important skills you’ll develop in an alcohol treatment program is identifying relapse triggers and how to cope with temptation. We have some suggestions that can help you fight the urge to relapse while still allowing yourself to have fun in the sun.

Caution is Key in Alcohol Relapse Prevention

The longer you go without alcohol, the less likely you are to relapse. In the early months and years of recovery, every sober step you take greatly increases your chances of success. During this time frame, it’s best to avoid scenes and situations that may tempt you. Make sure you stick to your prescribed treatment plan and don’t use the increased spring and summer activity list to derail any therapy sessions or meetings. Here are a few suggestions for totally alcohol-free ways to spend your time:

    • Hiking can be a great way to enjoy what these seasons have to offer, with the added benefit of being far from the local bar. Make sure to stay hydrated!
    • Joining a rec league sports team can be another great way to get some exercise and comradery. Look for a recovery-focused sports team or league in your area.
    • Volunteering with a local charity is a great way to occupy your body and mind while helping others.
    • Picking up a new hobby or skill can be a fun way to meet new people and broaden your horizons. You could take up gardening, cooking, art, music, or various other classes or lessons in your area.

Know Your Limits to Avoid Alcohol Relapse

If you’ve been in recovery for a while, you might feel comfortable attending backyard barbecues, beach parties, or music festivals where alcohol is present but not the sole focus of an event. However, some level of caution and preparation is still advised. Set time limits on your involvement and evaluate how you’re dealing with any potential triggers or temptations every hour or so. Bringing a supportive friend along for the ride is a good way to ensure someone will have your back if you begin struggling with temptation. Take things slowly and be ready with an exit strategy in case those familiar urges return.

Understand How Relapse Works

An alcohol relapse isn’t a snap decision made at the moment; it happens in stages. Maybe you haven’t been sleeping well lately. Work or a relationship could be causing you stress. When you’re not taking care of yourself, things begin to work behind the scenes leading to an emotional relapse. From there, you might start thinking about alcohol again. If you don’t deal with the problems at hand, those thoughts, or the beginning stages of mental relapse, can develop into urges. Continuing to ignore the situation is what sets you on course for a physical relapse.

Learning Relapse Prevention Coping Skills

At Cycles of Change, we can help you identify your relapse triggers, so you can develop the skills you need to cope healthily. No two addictions are the same. That’s why our caring team of healthcare professionals and counselors will work with you to develop a treatment plan customized to fit your individual needs and situation. Our luxury drug and alcohol rehab facility in Palmdale, California, offers various programs designed to help you reach your goals. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, contact us today. We are here for you.


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