Let’s set a scenario.
James, a 40-year old alcoholic father of two recently lost his wife and his job due to his uncontrollable drinking problem. In an attempt to rebuild his life, James agreed to get alcohol treatment inside a rehabilitation centre after his ex-wife and his children sat down and did an intervention with him, which helped him realise the full extent of his problem.
After a successful 6 weeks in alcohol rehab, James was taught about his addiction and how he can avoid drinking in the future. He returns home from the clinic and now it’s the very first day after alcohol rehab. James now wonders, “What happens when treatment is over?” This is actually a common situation that many alcoholics face after completing a stint in alcohol rehab.
Starting over again is not as easy as it seems. There are various obstacles in a recovering alcoholic’s path that they will need to overcome, such as:
- Rebuilding broken relationships with family and friends
- Ensuring that the place they will be living in is suitable for their recovery efforts and wont trigger any cravings for alcohol
- Finding a job
- Avoiding any cravings and suffering a relapse
- Leaving the safe haven of the alcohol rehab centre can be a stern reality check for many recovering alcoholics as they are re-entering into a world where their recovery efforts isn’t as important as it was in treatment.
- The good news is that these obstacles don’t have to be faced alone.
- Aftercare provides those in recovery with the opportunity to safely stay on the right track, just like they did in rehab.
- Aftercare can be done through various channels, most commonly outpatient treatment, halfway houses and support groups.
Outpatient treatment gives recovering alcoholics like James the opportunity to continue the treatment they received inside the alcohol rehab centre, just in further detail. Patients will be able to do their responsibilities during the day while attending daily meetings in the evenings at the centre, where they will get counselling and therapy similar to what was received inside the alcohol rehab centre. For more information about outpatient treatment, click here:
Halfway houses give recovering alcoholics the opportunity to continue staying in a sober living environment once their stay in alcohol rehabilitation has ended. In the halfway house, residents will be required be out during the day working, studying or doing something productive. This effectively helps the alcoholic to rebuild their life until they are ready to return back into society. For more information about halfway houses, click here:
Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are also very effective in helping those in recovery achieve long term sobriety. They are a global organisation dedicated to alcoholism recovery by using self-help groups and their famous 12-step program. The 12-steps are based on spiritual principles as many alcoholics are against the idea of religion, God or any other higher power. While the meetings may be based on a more spiritual approach, atheists and agnostics are more than welcome to attend AA meetings as it’s not compulsory to believe in a particular God.
For more information about support groups, click here:
A relapse can be defined as the deterioration of an individual’s recovery efforts after addiction treatment. The US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism believes that “approximately 90 percent of alcoholics are likely to experience at least one relapse over the 4-year period following treatment.” While this statistic may be alarming, you don’t have to suffer a relapse.
Here are some relapse warning signs to look out for:
- Dishonesty – Lying to yourself and to others around you is a major sign of an imminent relapse. While you were under the grips of alcoholism, you may have lied and tried to hide the fact that there was a problem present. Don’t make the same mistake again.
- Avoiding Responsibility – Blaming someone else for anything is making you the victim again, something which may have been prevalent during your alcoholic days. If you find yourself blaming others for actions you have done, you may be on the path to a relapse.
- Embarrassment – If you feel ashamed that you cannot make your partner happy, be sure to remind yourself that you have to love and respect them. The disappointment may just cause you to suffer a relapse.
- Overconfidence – With overconfidence come vulnerability and in addiction terms, it’s never a good thing. Remain focused on your recovery efforts and remember that it’s a lifelong commitment to staying clean and sober.
However should you suffer a relapse, keep in mind that it’s not the end of the world. What’s now important is to learn from your mistake and get professional help immediately. We provide access to the best private alcoholism treatment centres in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Thailand. Call us now and let one of our qualified addiction counsellors assist you.