13 Warning Signs of Alcohol Relapse: When to Get Help
13 Warning Signs of Alcohol Relapse: When to Get Help

You might be amazed at how many people are negatively impacted by alcoholism every year. While it’s legal to drink alcohol, it’s still one of the world’s deadliest drugs. With substance abuse and alcoholism on the rise in America, there needs to be a profound change in our daily lives. 

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse, roughly 141,000 Americans die from the effects of alcohol in an average year. In 2021 alone, among people aged 12 and up, around 61 million people also experimented with illicit drugs. 

You may not think alcohol affects your life, but the truth is, consuming alcohol profoundly affects your entire body. This includes the heart, brain, mouth, liver, immune system, and pancreas. Despite its adverse effects, the average American consumes 494 drinks per year, and that number is on the rise. 

But what do you do if you quit drinking alcohol? 

Could you resist the urge to drink again?

Could you resist the urge to drink again? What if something stressful happens in your life, and you can’t seem to use a coping mechanism other than reaching for a drink? 

In other words, what if you relapse? 

If you do, the most important thing is not to beat yourself up. Instead, you need to get back on the recovery horse and lean on your support network.

But what does relapse look like? How can you tell if you’re headed down a dangerous path out of sobriety? 

The best thing you can do is educate yourself. Learn the warning signs of relapse to get the help you need as soon as possible.

Contact BOLD Health

What is a Relapse?

Addiction to drugs or alcohol is a chronic disease. It can have devastating, long-term effects without proper monitoring and treatment. When dealing with a chronic illness like alcohol addiction, even if you are on a steady path to recovery, there is always the risk of relapse. 

In fact, more than half of all people who undergo addiction treatment experience some level of relapse, either briefly or over a long period. That’s why it’s crucial to get the best possible alcohol treatment in San Diego or wherever you live. And in southern California, BOLD Health is a top choice.

What Happens When You Stop Drinking Alcohol

By definition, relapse is the act of backsliding back into former habits after a period of improvement. 

Many times, whether or not you’re going to relapse doesn’t feel much like a choice you have. If you or a loved one suffer from alcohol addiction, you understand the hold this addiction has on you and the potential danger of a relapse. Nothing is worse than feeling like you have no control, which is what it feels like when you relapse.

But it’s not the end of your recovery journey. Don’t be afraid to admit when you relapse. There’s no shame in starting over.

Warning Signs of Alcohol Relapse

You may think you know what to look for when someone is in danger or relapsing. They’ll just reach for a drink, right? Well, that is part of relapse, but there is more to it. There are actually three types of relapse warning signs to look for. 

  • Emotional Relapse is the first sign of relapse and the first indicator that a full relapse may occur. There may be no physical symptoms of relapse at this point, and you likely aren’t actively thinking about their symptoms or condition. However, a few behavioral changes may occur. 

Warning Signs for an Emotional Relapse include:

  • poor self-care
  • inadequate sleep schedules
  • unhealthy eating habits
  • isolation
  • mood swings
Alcohol Relapse

The Benefits of Group Therapy in Alcohol Rehab

  • Mental Relapse occurs when you don’t recognize the signs that you are in emotional relapse. At this point, your thought patterns begin to revolve around alcohol, and you have to work hard to suppress cravings. During a mental relapse, you are at an elevated risk of experiencing a physical relapse. 

Warning Signs for a Mental Relapse include:

  • fantasizing about drinking
  • minimizing the consequences of alcohol use
  • consistent cravings
  • planning a physical relapse
  • Physical Relapse is the final stage of relapse. As the name suggests, physical relapse is when you give in to your cravings and drink alcohol.

Warning Signs for a Physical Relapse include:

  • mood swings, anger, and anxiety
  • negative emotional responses
  • erratic eating and sleeping habits
  • shame or regret

There are also additional signs of relapse you should keep in mind, including the following: 

  • sudden changes in behavior
  • isolating yourself and avoiding interacting with others
  • abruptly choosing to stop attending therapy or recovery meetings
  • falsely glamorizing alcohol use
  • having a new false sense of control over your alcohol use

Understanding the warning signs of relapse is crucial to your mental health as it increases your chances of prevention instead of relapse. 

The Role of Therapy in Alcohol Addiction Treatment

When to Seek Alcohol Treatment in San Diego

Signs of Alcohol Relapse

Alcohol consumption can lead to many mental and physical health problems. If you feel you are losing control over your life due to alcohol abuse, it may be time to seek help. 

You may not think you have an issue with alcohol. Many who struggle with substance abuse have trouble seeing there’s an actual problem. But if your alcohol use affects your relationships, work, school, and mental and physical health, there’s a good chance you should seek alcohol rehab in San Diego.

Here are some of the red flags indicating you may need help for alcohol addiction:

  • You lie about or hide your drinking.
  • You’ve put yourself or others in danger while drinking or under the influence of alcohol.
  • Your drinking negatively impacts your work or school performance.
  • Your drinking has led to health problems.
  • You’ve tried to stop or limit how much you drink but can’t seem to.
  • You experience blackouts from drinking.
  • You have withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink alcohol (shaky hands, sweating, vomiting, headache, nausea, etc.)

The first step to recovery from alcohol addiction is to enroll yourself in a high-quality alcohol rehab in San Diego, where you can detox safely and undergo treatment. 

Common Challenges in Alcohol Rehab and How to Overcome Them

BOLD Health: Top-Notch Alcohol Rehab in San Diego

Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength. Don’t consider reaching out a weakness. You can only benefit from taking that first step toward recovery.

BOLD Health

BOLD Health provides high-quality, compassionate, and individualized alcohol treatment in San Diego. Whether through our intensive outpatient program (IOP), outpatient alcohol detox, medication management, therapy, or a combination of therapeutic options, we will provide the best treatment possible and give you the tools and strategies to prevent alcohol relapse.

You deserve freedom from your alcohol addiction, and we are more than happy to support and guide you toward recovery.

Contact us

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  1. […] Stress reduction: When you learn how to develop an awareness and acceptance of the present moment, you can also let go of stressors. Through deep breathing and focus, you can calm your body and mind. And because stress often triggers alcohol cravings, reducing it is key in your recovery and preventing alcohol relapse. […]

  2. […] 3 Warning Signs of Alcohol Relapse: When to Get Help […]