How to Prevent Relapse with Alcoholism in California

addicted to alcohol


Did you know that more than 88,000 people die each year from alcohol related causes? According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism {NIAAA}, alcohol is the fourth-leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Fortunately, most people suffering from alcohol addiction are aware of these horrible statistics which is why thousands of people are seeking treatment on a daily basis. What they don’t know however is that they will relapse at least once in the course of the challenging recovery process.

What is relapsing?

In layman’s terms, a relapse is when you go back to drinking alcohol after a period of sobriety. This could be just a slip where you drink once and then snap back to sobriety or a downhill journey back to your old self. NIAAA reports that 90% of people who have gone through alcohol treatment relapse at least once within 4 years. Most of these people go back to drinking within the first six months after treatment and then again within the first year.

What Causes Relapsing?

1. Triggers

The mind of a human being controls everything in the body and outside. During the period when your body and mind were completely reliant on the alcohol to feel good, happy, and calm or whatever other feeling you got, a pattern or a modification was made in the brain.

This means that every time you see a bar or smell alcohol, the brain automatically tells the body that you must take alcohol immediately. Many alcoholics don’t even realize they are walking into a club until the following day when regrets kick in. These triggers are the hardest to deal with in relapse prevention California because you can’t completely avoid them.

2. Cravings

Craving alcohol is almost as bad as the withdrawal symptoms. A person recovering from alcohol will often experience extreme thirst of booze and it can even be paralyzing at times. If you are not at a point where you know exactly what to do to distract the mind and body from feeling that craving, you will find yourself rushing to the club for a drink.

3. Mental issues.

Contrary to popular belief, alcoholics don’t drink so much because they like the taste of alcohol. Most of them started drinking to cope with a certain problem and with time they got hooked.
Negative emotional and mental states like depression, anger, anxiety, stress and frustration are some of the reasons why people abuse alcohol. If you don’t find a way to deal with these issues in a healthy way, a relapse is inevitable when something small occurs.

4. Peer pressure

Few things will drive you back to drinking faster than the friends you used to hang out with when you were a drinker. While your outlook in life has changed, theirs is still the same and they can’t understand why you can’t have just one drink with them. Unfortunately, men and women who are old and ripe are susceptible to peer pressure in a bid to feel accepted by your friends and to fit in. Staying away from such friends and those old hang outs is the best way to stay sober.

5. Lack of support

The road to recovery from alcoholism is a long and painful one. The reality as outlined in Alcoholic Anonymous is that you cannot succeed alone. Unfortunately most people think they can until a relapse happens a few months down the line. The position of a sponsor, family, friends and even a therapist cannot be underestimated because those are the people who will keep you accountable and get you back on the narrow path when you start going astray again.

Relapse Prevention in California


While most people will probably have a relapse once, it is possible to stay sober and healthy for the rest of your life. Relapsing the first time is actually a good thing depending on how you look at it. It teaches you that you still have a long way to go before you can be free from that addiction and gives you a chance to address some of the issues that makes you run to alcohol. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to gaining control over alcoholism or any addiction for that matter and you have to put in the work. If you want to avoid having a second relapse, here are some of the measures you can take;

1. Have a structured life

One of the reasons people find themselves drinking at inappropriate hours of the day is lack of structure which leads to boredom and confusion. Have a military like schedule where you know what exactly you are doing from one hour to the next leaving you no time to be idle.

2. Deal with the root cause of the problem

It’s always best to go back with your therapist to that moment you started drinking. Figure out what started it and what usually makes you run to alcohol on a daily basis apart from the craving. Once you figure out those emotional and mental issues, you can start the journey of solving or dealing with them one by one in a healthy manner.

3. Follow through with the recovery aftercare

Depending on what your treatment plan was, be sure to follow through with the after care. For AA it’s the 12-steps program while others require you to stay in therapy for some months.

4. Explore your hobbies and talents

Get new ways of releasing stress and make yourself happy instead of alcohol. Hobbies are a
great source of joy and some can be very good for dealing with stress. There are so many things in California to keep you occupied.  A google search of your hobbies would be the first step.

5. Build a sober support group

You need all the support you can get and you need people to hold you accountable. Get trusted members of the family and a few friends as your support group. More importantly, identify people who have been there and they are doing well.

6. Avoid high-risk situations

If you can’t avoid situations like family gatherings, wedding and parties where alcohol is flowing, be in the company of someone who will keep you away from the booze.

7. Have a plan to deal with urges

The urges will come. What matters is how you will deal with them. Your California therapist or support group will help you come up with things you can do to distract yourself from the urges until they pass.


Relapse prevention California uses specific techniques to help the patient identify their individual triggers and skills on how to deal with them. Once you have left that structured environment of a sober house or rehabilitation center, the real work begins where you have to apply all the skills you learnt and ask for help anytime you feel overwhelmed.