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Alcohol Detox - I've messed up again and I feel so ashamed
Recovering from alcohol dependence can be a long and arduous journey. First, you must go through detox, battling the unpleasant symptoms associated with withdrawal from alcohol. Then, you must undergo a period of therapy, in which the reasons and triggers for your drinking are addressed. Finally, you need to identify new ways of taking care of yourself and establishing new patterns of behaviour with friends and family.
No wonder some people in recovery crack under pressure, give into temptation or simply lose the motivation to stay alcohol-free. In fact, one of the major challenges in recovery from any addiction, including alcohol dependence, is the reality that relapse may occur, says Sue Allchurch, director of the Linwood Group.
Relapse is not unusual and can bring with it terrible feelings of "shame, guilt and failure", she says. But it is far more constructive to see relapse as a vital lesson learned on the journey towards recovery. That means studying the factors that triggered the relapse and the warning signs that you were vulnerable at that time. "If you do relapse, learning why may help you avoid it next time and leave you better equipped to sustain long-term sobriety," she says.
Relapse triggers and warning signs
Some studies suggest that approximately two-thirds of all relapses for any addiction occur within the first 90 days of recovery. But the longer a person is abstinent following treatment for alcohol dependency, the better things will get and their confidence and ability to handle stress without alcohol will improve.
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