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Alcohol Relapse

Rates of Alcohol Relapse

Approximately 90% of individuals who had a problem with alcohol experience at least one relapse in the four years following treatment (Polich, 1981). Similar relapse rates occur for recovering smokers and heroin addicts. This suggests that many addictive behaviors may share the same behavioral, biochemical, and cognitive components (Hunt, 1971).

Reasons for Alcohol Relapse

In a study done by Marlatt, GA; it was found that the shift from the first drink (following a period of abstinence) to excessive relapse drinking is dependent on an individual's reaction to that drink. The study found that a majority of relapses were triggered by three situations that the researchers deemed high risk: anger/frustration, temptation, and social pressure.

Preventing Alcohol Relapse

  • Maintain stability - resist the urge to move, travel, assume a new job, or make any drastic life changes that could induce stress and drinking
  • Join a support group (choose one that is a good fit for you)
  • Have a daily reflection period
  • Take responsibility for you actions
  • Take control of your life, don't procrastinate and let things slide