How to Overcome Temptations to Drink in Alcohol Recovery

While the detox stage of alcohol recovery may seem like the most difficult of all, it’s the following weeks and months that present the most difficult challenges in recovery. Alcoholism comes with its own mindset and lifestyle, both of which persist well into the recovery process. These aftereffects can make temptations to drink especially difficult to bear.

Though challenging, people in alcohol recovery can maintain abstinence on a day-to-day basis. In effect, overcoming temptations to drink in alcohol recovery entails the use of coping strategies that replace addiction-based choices with the types of behaviors that support a sober lifestyle.

Alcohol Treatment & Recovery

Alcohol treatment programs equip a person with the tools needed to live alcohol-free lifestyles. Choosing to use these tools ultimately determines a person’s success in alcohol recovery.

According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, recovery becomes a process of change wherein a person works to maintain abstinence while developing a lifestyle that’s conducive to sober living. After completing alcohol treatment, a person must become accountable for the choices he or she makes from day to day as far as maintaining abstinence is concerned.

In effect, these choices are intertwined with most every major area of a person’s life, including work, family, health and relationships. In essence, temptations to drink in alcohol recovery will surface within most every major area of a person’s daily life.

Tools for Relapse Prevention

AA-meeting

Attending AA meetings can help prevent a relapse.

Know the Stages of Relapse

Addiction’s long-term effects on a person’s psychological makeup account for why the risk of relapse remains long into the recovery process. Knowing the stages of relapse can help a person spot oncoming signs of a potential relapse.

In effect, relapse is a process that unfolds well before the actual event occurs. Along the way, stages of relapse start with the emotions, then progresses on into a person’s thinking patterns and eventually starts to disrupt his or her state of physical well-being.

Relapse Prevention Planning

When the temptation to drink crops up, knowing how to handle the situation is half the battle. According to the University of Washington, relapse prevention planning enables a person to be prepared for unexpected triggers that tap into drinking-based urges. The first step requires knowing what types of circumstances pose the greatest challenge to your recovery.

The second step entails listing out countermeasures to take when the urge to drink seems overwhelming. Countermeasures may take the form of:

  • Attending an AA meeting
  • Calling your sponsor
  • Taking up a hobby
  • Exercise
  • Journaling your thoughts and feelings
  • Meditation

Receiving needed behavioral treatment is also a crucial part of the alcohol recovery process. Attending both individual and group therapy sessions on a regular basis provides outlets for discussing the areas and situations that pose the greatest threat to your recovery. The support and guidance offered can make a tremendous difference on your outlook and overall motivation to maintain abstinence.

The Alcohol Recovery Process

Ultimately, alcohol recovery is about creating a lifestyle that supports ongoing sobriety. In effect, alcoholism comes with its own set of behaviors and routines, all of which work to support compulsive drinking behaviors. Likewise, overcoming temptations to drink requires a person to develop the types of behaviors, routines and attitudes that support ongoing success throughout the alcohol recovery process.

How the helpline works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the AlcoholicsAnonymous.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC), a paid advertiser on AlcoholicsAnonymous.com.

AAC representatives are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. These representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. This helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither AlcoholicsAnonymous.com nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit AmericanAddictionCenters.org. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.