Alcohol Relapse and When Helping the Alcoholic Becomes Hurtful
A major alcoholism matter has to do with the enabling behavior exhibited by family members. Indeed, it is noteworthy to discuss something that numerous family members who have been adversely affected by the alcohol addiction of another family member evidently do not understand. Without conscious awareness of their actions, when they “shield” the alcoholic with deceit and untruths to those outside the family, these well-intentioned family members have more or less created a state of affairs that makes it relatively easy for the alcohol dependent person to keep up with his or her vicious cycle of hazardous, immature, and irresponsible living.
Enabling and the Reinforcement of Excessive and Abusive Drinking
Stated another way, instead of truly helping the alcoholic and helping themselves address and realistically deal with the alcohol dependent person’s disease, these family members have for the most part become enablers who have made a bad situation even worse.
Relapses Can and Do Transpire
In addition to enabling, alcohol relapse is another key alcohol dependency issue. In fact, alcohol abuse and alcoholism research shows that most alcoholics who quit drinking and get alcohol treatment relapse at least once. What is more, some substance abuse professionals forcefully claim that relapse is a common occurrence in the recovery process. Clearly, alcohol dependent individuals and their families need to know this so that they do not get depressed or down in the dumps when a relapse takes place.
One aspect of relapse, however, needs special attention: when an alcoholic has successfully gone through alcohol treatment and then starts drinking a number of weeks, months, or even years later.
“She had beaten her drinking problem. Why did she fall off the wagon and begin drinking again”? This is a common question that more than a few friends or family members have asked about an alcohol dependent person who experienced a relapse after successfully going through alcohol treatment.
Without a doubt, to the “typical” person, an alcohol relapse after many weeks or months of abstinence is so astounding that it makes an individual wonder why someone who has worked through the misery and anguish of alcohol dependency can begin drinking once again. Of course, there are quite a few reasons for this.
Contrary to what many if not most of the people-on-the-street know, addiction research has verified that many weeks or months after alcohol dependent individuals have become sober, major modifications in the way in which the their brain functions are still present. Sadly, all recovering alcoholics have to do to engage in actions that are linked to the changes that have taken place in their brain is to involve themselves once again in drinking.
The Necessity for A Drastic Lifestyle Transformation
Brain transformations aside, there are other plausible reasons why many recovering alcoholics start drinking many weeks or months after attaining sobriety. As an illustration, substance abuse research shows that alcoholics need different and novel ways of reacting and thinking so they can more effectively deal with problematic alcohol-related issues that will arise.
Furthermore, conditions such as memorable activities, smells, or songs; hanging around with friends from the time when the alcoholic was still drinking in an abusive and hazardous manner; or returning to the same geographic location or drinking environment–all of these situations can set off various psychological “hot buttons” that “motivate” recovering alcohol addicted individuals to once again involve themselves in irresponsible and damaging drinking.
What is more, all of these circumstances may not only lead to relapse and work contrary to the goals of sobriety, but they may also inhibit long-term recovery.
Luckily, long term alcohol addiction therapeutic outcomes, follow-up counseling and education, and involvement in support groups and recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous have not only helped decrease alcohol relapses, but they have also helped recovering alcoholics achieve long lasting alcohol recovery.