Recovering Alcoholic Relapsing


When an alcoholic gets sober what are the chances of them relapsing? It’s said in AA meetings that if someone who has a drinking problem, quits and decides to drink again, they will go right back to where they started. The testimonies of hundreds of thousands of alcoholics can attest to this truth.

There are many things that can contribute to someone having a relapse, the only person to blame though is themselves.

It all starts with one thought of having a drink. If the thought is entertained long enough, then the chances are great that they will go out again. By attending therapy group secessions, someone can learn how to deal with these thoughts properly so they will not take them down wrong roads.

When a recovering alcoholic stays plugged into alcoholism support group meetings, their chances are “better than average” that they will stay sober.

This question of someone having a relapse can further be answered in relation to three things: people, places and things.

People
Does the alcoholic who is in recovery place themselves in situations where they are hanging around with their old drinking buddy who is an active alcoholic?? If so, then the chances are great that they will start drinking again. Any time that the people around them are consuming alcoholic beverages, the person who used to struggle with drinking is at risk. The old bunch of people at the party don’t have much respect for sober people. Relapsing is always one drink away. It’s just a wise decision to not place onesself in harms way.

Detaching from an alcoholic
spouse, friend or relative to ensure sobriety stays in tact may be necessary.

Keeping a safe distance from people who party a lot is a good idea for the recovering alcoholic. It is vitally important in the beginning of sobriety that they stay away from old habits by avoiding relationships with old friends. By doing this, the chances that a recovered alcoholic will drink again are lessened.

The person who is sober must rub shoulders with like minded people. This is where organizations like AA come into play. By attending alcoholism support group meetings regularly, a new way of life begins to form along with an entirely new bunch of friends. These people will help keep the sober person from relapsing if they stay in close contact with them.

Places
This should go without saying, the sober person should not flirt with hanging around in bars. If the place where the most alcohol used to be consumed prior to getting sober was at work, then it’s time to find a new job. Anything that used to compel the recovering person to drink should be eliminated from their daily routine. If they continue to do what they have always done- they will get what they have always gotten, “drunk.”

By attending AA meetings or somewhere comparable to these types of places will keep the alcoholic from relapsing. The more stories a recovering alcoholic hears about how someone decided to pick up a drink and spent the next five years drinking before they decided to get sober again will help keep the recovering problem drinker sober.

In AA they say: “meeting makers make it.” They also say: “keep coming back, it works if you work it.”

Things
In recovery an alcoholic learns that the most important thing to them must be staying sober. So, if they must move into a smaller house to relieve the stress of having to work two jobs to pay the bills, then that’s what they do. If they have to get rid of a few things that would hinder them from attending support group meetings on a regular basis, they get rid of them.

In relation to things, if the sober person has difficulty with looking at their favorite brand of beer, wine or lacquer, then they should stay away from those isles or not watch TV.

Triggers
A recovering alcoholic’s chances of drinking again can be related to how well they understand or have identified with what triggers them to think of having a drink. Once they understand what is causing them to think about romancing a bottle of booze, they can take charge of their lives and avoid those triggers. It takes self discipline and help from God to recognize these things and to handle them properly. It is people, places and things that cause these triggers to go off.

A recovering person will learn about people, places, and things if they continue to attend alcoholism support group meetings. They will also learn what triggers them to want a drink. The chances of an alcoholic relapsing are going to be much greater if they do not attend AA related meetings regularly. In the beginning and even later on staying away from dysfunctional friends who are alcoholics is very important to maintaining sobriety and not having a relapse.


2 comments to Recovering Alcoholic Relapsing

  • Timtam

    I’ve been with my alcoholic boyfriend for over two and a half years. In the first year, he tried to get sober, the first attemp lasted for 2 months, with help from meds. After a long relapse, I gave him an ultimatum, go back on meds or move out. He was back on meds, exercising to go on a competition, working hard, and we went on holidays overseas, it was the best 6 months. He suddenly stopped taking his meds without me knowing and relapsed. Since it has been a nightmare. So many attempts and relapses. He refuses to go back to the hospital, some of his drinking buddies told him the meds would mess up his brain. He refuses to go to counselling, he says it’s a waste of time, and he will try to stop drinking on his own. His so callef friends are the worst. Everytime he tries to get sober and tells them he isn’t drinking, they always call him to go out drinking. They aren’t even alcoholics. Some of them for sure are using him because he always pays for drinks. His behaviour while drunk is getting worse, doesn’t go to work, and spends all his money on alcohol. He doesn’t drink every day, but when he does, he binges for at least a weak (non-stop). He also suffers from depression. I have tried to give him my support . I’ve been to Al-Anon (unfortunately the only Al-Anon group in my city doesn’t have regular meetings and I a few times I went there there was no one) to help myself, went to see a therapist but stopped because it was too costly (arounf 150 bucks an hour). I currently live in Korea, there isn’t enough support system for alcoholics, there’s a stigma attached to alcoholics (if an alcoholic go to seek advice from a doctor, they have to seek help from what Koreans called “crazy people doctor”, and it is recorded so if they want to fine a new job or get a life insurance, no employer will take them and no life insurance will take them as they are labelled “crazy”) I feel helpless, I do feel sorry for him, but this is affecting me lots. I am considering leaving him.

  • Timtam

    Just looked at the article and found my post from May, which I have no recollection of posting. I’m still with my bf. He lost his job in June. His old boss took him back and he told the boss that he’d start in August. From June to August he binged drink. Towards the end of August he decided to enter rehab. His boss inroduced a doctor,that doc didn’t think my bf required being admitted to rehab. My bf had been taking meds since the firstvday of Sep, not regularly because he thinks he knows what he needs and doesn’t need and he also thinks it’s okay to skip. He was supposed to go back to see the doc last week. He didn’t go. Lied to me saying he would go this week on Thursday. I could see a relapse comimg as he’d done the same a few times before. He relapses on Wednesday. He’d asked his cousin to back up his story about having to go out of town for work. I had found out about his plan going out with friends , but I didn’t confront him. I thought I should try to control things. Yesterday (thursday) he came home and called me at work, he was drunk, sounded upset. His cousin decided to confiscate his phone and cards in an attemptvto stop him from buying drinks, from contacting his alcoholic friends, and from contacting clients which he’s done a lot. The cousin stold him that he’d return the phone at my bf’s office today. When I went gome for my break yesterday, my bf woke up and told me yo call his cousin and tell him to bring the phone back.I refused to do it. He got angry, verbally abusive, said that he wished I would meet another man because he couldn’t keep sober and wantef to live freely. I stayed at a friend’s house last night, only had a 3 hr sleep on Wed. Is cousin called me last night, saying that my bf had called him and told him to give his phone back, he was valling from a bar. Someone else took the receiver, a staff from the bar, demandinghis cousin to pay 500 dollars for the drinks that my bf had,and if not he would call the police. The cousin hang up the phone. My bf could be at a poloce station somewhere now, or he could be at home after pawning some of the stuff at home to pay for the 500 dollar drinks. We had the police coming in twice before because he didn’t have money to pay for taxis, once he brought a bar staff home because he said that I would be able to pay for his drinks. He is suvh a great man when he is not drunk. He’s been trying to get sober a few times since we’ve been together. He doesn’t want to go to anysupport group or a counsellor, relying instaed on the meds. I don’t know what else to do. I feel sorry for him, a sick man who needs help but at same time refuses to get help.

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