Nobody goes into alcohol relapse programs with the idea of purposefully wasting their time there. However despite the recovering alcoholic’s best intentions there can be a relapse. This does not mean the alcohol treatment program is not effective. It is just very difficult for anybody to get past the temptations and triggers that can cause a relapse in the real world.
If you do relapse alcohol treatment programs recommend that you do the following:
- Immediately leave the setting or situation that has you drinking
- Do not drive if you are drunk – call a sponsor or a trusted friend to pick you up
- Get rid of or leave the alcohol that you have been drinking; do not rationalize that you should drink a pitcher of beer because you have paid for it or anything like that.
- Do not make a really big deal of your relapse by dramatizing it into a big failure; remind yourself that just one brief lapse does not have to turn into a daily routine of drinking
- Do not let the guilt get to you; acknowledge you have let yourself down and that recovery after alcoho treatment programs is very difficult.
- Do not tell everyone who will listen about your relapse as it could harm your reputation.
Do not give up if you happen to have a relapse because it does not mean that you will be unable to reach your goal of absolute sobriety. In fact, most alcohol treatment programs expect most of their released patients to experience some kind of relapse after they leave. It is best to view this straying from recovery as just a detour and not a big dramatic disaster. If you really feel that your drinking is careening out of control again most alcohol treatment rehab centers have counselors that are trained to coach and encourage former patients.