Relapse Prevention: Strategies from an Alcohol Addiction Psychiatrist 

Alcohol addiction is a growing concern in India. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), alcohol kills 2.6 lakh Indians every year, either by causing liver cirrhosis or cancer or by leading to road accidents caused by drunk driving.  

Addiction is a mental disorder that harms daily functioning and ruins relationships. Therefore, it is crucial to seek out professionals like alcohol addiction psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and counsellors to help individuals beat the battle against alcohol and improve their overall well-being. 

Psychiatrist vs Psychologist  

Both are trained in the same practice of mental health care. The difference is how they approach the disorders.  

While psychiatrists are medical professionals who can prescribe medicine to treat mental health disorders, psychologists offer treatment and assessments. 

Both are licensed to treat mental health conditions and can design a treatment plan that is personalized to each individual’s needs and improves every aspect of well-being.  

Treatments Offered by Alcohol Addiction Psychiatrist  

Usually, alcohol addiction treatments are provided after assessing individuals’ conditions and design according to their severity level. These include psychotherapy, behavioural therapy, and medication.  

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective therapies for alcohol addiction. It traces negative thought processes that lead to harmful behaviours and helps them to transform them into healthier ones. 

A psychiatrist will help individuals understand the link between their thoughts and behaviours and equip them with coping skills that are effective in preventing relapse.  

  • Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is for those who lack the willingness to start or continue their treatment process. MET instills confidence and a positive outlook in individuals about taking treatment.  
  • Family counselling is about including family members in the recovery process. It allows them to learn more about an individual’s addiction and equip them with new tools to help the recovery journey speed.  
  • Medications are often not the first line of choice for treating alcohol addiction but drugs like Disulfiram (Antabuse), Acamprosate (Campral), or Naltrexone (ReVia) might prescribe along with the therapy to enhance the overall consequence. 

Relapse Prevention Strategies from Alcohol Addiction Psychiatrist 

Life without alcohol may seem unimaginable at first, but with the right approach, living alcohol-free is entirely achievable. While the journey to recovery might appear daunting, the transformation you’ll experience along the way is profoundly rewarding.  

Here are a few strategies that alcohol addiction psychiatrists will incorporate to prevent relapse:  

Identifying and Managing Triggers 

Triggers work differently from person to person. It may be a certain place, people, things, or situation for some, while boredom, stress, anxiety, depression, or any negative feelings can be triggers for others.  

Once identified with triggers, an alcohol addiction psychiatrist will work with the individual to build effective skills to avoid and manage triggers healthily.  

Coping Skills  

Psychiatrists can help develop coping skills to manage stress, anxiety, or other negative emotions that can trigger a relapse. They may include relaxation techniques and mindfulness exercises. These skills come in handy when faced with difficult situations and can help improve overall well-being.  

Buildng Relapse Plan  

Preventing relapse can be challenging, but by following a psychiatrist’s steps rigorously, it is preventable. They will work closely with you to create a plan that might include a routine for therapy, medication management, regular physical activities, a healthy diet, and proper sleep hygiene. Following this plan can help speed up recovery and prevent possible relapses. 

Ongoing Support 

Surrounding yourself with supportive people and talking to trusted individuals can significantly aid in starting your recovery journey. Therefore, an alcohol addiction psychiatrist not only monitors your progress and addresses challenges but also provides emotional and mental support on the road to recovery. 

Alcohol addiction relapse is not a sign of a lack of willpower or a weak heart; it is a mental health condition that can happen to anyone. And relapse does not always imply that a person is back to where they were before. But not seeking professional help can surely make the situation worse. Early intervention can prevent possible symptoms and improve overall well-being. 

If you or your loved ones are showing any signs of an alcohol addiction relapse, it is crucial to get mental health professionals’ help. We all deserve a fulfilling life without the discomfort and burden of alcohol. Recovery is possible with determination and the right support. 

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