Rehab is proven as being the key to beating alcoholism – the best way to achieve it. But there is no one-size-fits-all treatment on offer that all patients undertake. The clinicians and counsellors at Private Rehab Clinics across the UK recognise that treatment needs to be specifically tailored towards the individual. In other words, no two alcoholics are the same.
But what happens once Rehab is over? How can reformed alcoholics stay strong and not return to their old ways?
Returning to drinking – the risks
‘Experienced’ binge drinkers are usually good at hiding their drinking, and can be convincing when denying (i.e. lying) about how much alcohol they consume. Socially, they will also be part of a circle of heavy drinking friends who they easily and quickly fall back in with if they relapse (post-Rehab).
If you drink too much, and you are desperate to change, by opting for Rehab Treatment you are taking a massive step towards returning to good health and significantly reducing the risk in the future of suffering from:
- Heart and liver disease
- Impaired brain function (alcoholism can destroy brain cells, resulting in brain damage in various degrees)
- Sustaining a physical injury due to an overall reduction in your mental alertness
- Memory (and reasoning) problems
- And if you are a mum-to-be:
- Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, which can result in birth defects (note: children of alcoholics are also at an increased risk of suffering from depression, anxiety and poor self-esteem)
Safeguards (that can help prevent relapse)
The key to preventing alcoholism relapse is to be aware of the warning signs:
- Feelings of anger when you reflect upon your time in Rehab you find yourself blaming the clinicians and counsellors who treated you there for your current (post-Rehab) unhappiness and frustration at not being ‘allowed’ to enjoy a few drinks at home or when you’re out with your mates.
- You start to notice an increase in your stress levels, even in low pressure situations. Consequently, you tell yourself that if you had a drink or two to calm you down, you’d be much better able to cope.
- Choosing to socially isolate yourself begins to feel preferable to getting out there, socially interacting and joining in activities with others who don’t drink. You find yourself pining ‘for the old days’ when you mixed with other binge drinkers. Note: Self-imposed social exclusion can be harmful to both physical and mental health, and should be avoided.
- Finding it impossible to summon up the courage to face difficult and potentially upsetting situations (attending funerals, ending a relationship, relocating) would all seem much easier to handle if you had a few drinks inside you. Again, you blame others for ‘stopping’ you from doing this, for ‘forcing’ you to cope with such situations sober (“It isn’t them that has to face it, after all; it’s ME”).
- Seeing alcohol as medicine in situations where feelings of depression, anxiety and stress occur. You use alcohol to self-medicate, when the better course of action to take would be to seek the advice and help of a medical professional.
These and other triggers that make a person crave alcohol are typical in former alcoholics, sometimes pushing the reformed drinker to breaking point where getting a drink (and fast!) seems the only solution:
- Are you a former heavy drinker who feels in danger of relapsing?
- Are you currently noticing any or all of the aforementioned warning signs/triggers?
- Is returning to your old drinking ways becoming increasingly difficult to resist?