Alcoholism: What is Addiction Relapse and How to Prevent It?
People who are addicted to alcoholism often manage to complete rehab multiple times which is quite common for addictions related to alcohol. Once completing the rehab, people will usually continue to confront it again. Addiction relapse is quite common among alcoholics since alcohol addiction is known to be a chronic illness making the relapse, not just a possibility, but also extremely likely to happen. In this article, we are giving you some important information about alcoholism along with the chances of experiencing an addiction relapse.
Addiction Relapse Is Common Among People Treated For Alcoholism
Relapsing after being treated for alcoholism is quite common among people. A study conducted in 2001 has revealed that just about 25% of the alcoholics that underwent the treatment were successful in regularly abstaining from alcohol during the first year. However, the study also mentioned that it would be unfair to believe that the patients could only belong to two categories which could be the people who abstain and those that relapse.
Some people have made vast improvements even when they have resorted to having alcohol again. The study also provided information that participants in the recovery did not completely abstain from alcohol even during the treatment’s and just refrained from consuming alcohol for about a couple of days a week.
The Chances Of Sobriety Improve The Longer Alcoholics Refrain from Drinking
The risk of an addiction relapse diminishes the longer people decide to stay sober. Nearly 40% of the people that abstain from alcohol, for a period of two years, are likely to relapse but people who manage the abstention for five years or more are likely to remain sober for a longer time.
Addiction Relapse Can Be Triggered By Stress And Alcohol Cues
People who have been treated for alcoholism can come across a number of factors which can trigger an addiction to relapse. These can include cues related to alcohol such as advertisements for alcohol, walking by a bar or pub and even experiencing social pressure to have a drink or just being around people that are consuming alcohol. Another important factor for addiction relapse is stress and other negative emotions which include anxiety.
Researchers believe that the chronic use of alcohol can result in changes in the brain to increase a persons response to stressful conditions thereby increasing the risk of addiction relapse.
The Brain Activity Of People Can Predict Addiction Relapse
People that are in rehab for alcoholism and relapse after the treatment could have different patterns of brain activity than the people who remain sober. People dealing with alcoholism often display higher levels of activity in the area of the brain which is called the prefrontal cortex and are to deal with a relapse during the initial three months as compared that display normal levels of activities in this area.
It is unclear whether the heightened brain activity could be causing the relapse because there could be other factors which may be involved which could be causing the activity in the brain leading to the relapse. Scientists have the information that the prefrontal cortex is responsible for regulating emotions and keeping urges suppressed. Scientists believe it is highly possible that the chronic drinking could have led to changes in this area of the brain and affected the ability of people to regulate their cravings in order to prevent the relapse.
Addiction Relapse Cannot Be Termed As a Failure
It is important for the people to understand that addiction relapse does not indicate that the treatment provided to the individual has failed. Addiction is classified as a chronic condition just as other chronic diseases. The chances of the symptoms returning are quite high on certain occasions. Rather than view addiction relapse as a failure, people should be interpreting it as a need to reinitiate the treatment or adjusted according to the needs of the patient.
Alcoholics that prefer to enroll for rehab must be given the facts well in advance and if possible, must also be convinced that the chances of addiction relapse do exist. However, things will be even better if a discussion is held with the patient by a counselor who will be in a position to explain the finer points of the problem appropriately to the person enrolling for the rehab.
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