Relapse Dangers: People, Places and Things

Counselors at The Beachcomber pride themselves in over 125-years of combined experience in the addiction treatment. Many on our staff are recovering alcoholics or addicts with thousands of hours in attendance at self help meeting in nearly every region of the US. Several counselor/therapists have worked in the treatment field abroad. All have known the challenges of recovery and the pitfalls facing former patients as they return to their previous environments or seek new areas to relocate.

It is agreed by all that AA and NA are often the key to maintaining sobriety. It is considered very unlikely that a recovering alcoholic or substance abuser can stay clean and free of mood altering chemicals if they reject those proven fellowships. One staff member at The Beachcomber proclaimed: I’ve never counseled anyone who could remain sober on their own without the support of other recovering people. It just can’t be done without friends and family and self-help programs always fill in the gaps.

There are many trails for alcoholics and addicts that lead back to lives that became unmanageable. Pathways laid down by our own experiences we seemed destined to follow to the bitter end are always there. Once a course of treatment has been followed and the promise of a new life in recovery unfolds then warning signs must be posted for all to avoid relapse. Relapse is a danger not recommended for recovery!

The Ten Most Common Relapse Dangers Are:

  1. Visiting people, places and things where we know alcohol or the drug of choice is available or sold.
  2. Feelings can trigger negative responses: Anger, sadness, guilt, stress and loneliness. The alcoholic or addict who is alone is usually in every bad company.
  3. Feelings can also bring out excessive reasons for celebration. Events and festive gatherings lead to familiar errors in judgment.
  4. Boredom must be avoided and telephone therapy proves to be an excellent help. There is no better cure for boredom than visiting the AA or NA centers in most regions.
  5. Tempting serious relapse by sipping a drink or going for just one more high with the personal assurance treatment will clean things up if we get in too deep.
  6. Physical pain from accident or illness can’t be tolerated. Medical aid must be sought when pain is strong enough to consider self-medicating.
  7. Visiting with past friends in familiar locations leads to war stories and accounts of imagined conquests where alcohol or drugs played key roles.
  8. Prosperity is one of the greatest enemies of recovery. Sudden wealth and quick profits lead to old hazards, old habits and the stinkin-thinkin we once knew so well.
  9. The alcoholic and addict must inform physicians of their recovery program. Prescription medications can lead to improper use and new dependencies. It’s a frequent road to relapse!
  10. After significant periods of sobriety a common enemy is complacency. The recovering person can convince himself and sometimes others; he has no problem and relapses.

Perhaps the most important way to avoid relapse is to maintain solid contact with those who guided you through treatment and helped set your course for recovery. Even those who have not been in programs such as those offered by The Beachcomber and other centers may seek guidance through AA and NA.

Both self-help fellowships encourage members to devote as much time as possible to helping those still looking for solutions to alcoholism and addiction. Many millions have found a recovering way of life through such groups and they are open to all who want help with chemical dependency.