Soberlink Blog

Discussing the sober truth of alcohol, recovery, and aftercare monitoring

Is Relapse Part of Recovery?

“Relapse is a part of recovery.” We’ve all heard it. But is it true? While you could interpret this phrase to mean that relapse is unavoidable, that is not the context in which it is meant.

Darryl S. Inaba explains it well in his book Uppers, Downers and All-Arounders: “Relapse must be accepted but not excused in recovery.” In other words, if a person in recovery does relapse, he should be treated with compassion, not shame, but the event should be processed thoroughly to determine the cause and prevent it from happening again.

Accountability In Continued Care

One of the most important lessons taught in treatment centers is accountability. To maintain long-term sobriety, clients need to be pushed to be responsible for their own recovery. Products like Soberlink are making it easier and more convenient for them to take ownership of their behaviors.

Cindy Feinberg of The Recovery Coach designs treatment for individuals whose careers make it difficult for them to attend inpatient therapy. “We decided to implement Soberlink into our treatment program around two years ago,” she said. “What I like about it is [clients] don’t feel like prisoners and we’re not hovering over them. We set them up to have their own accountability.”

Royce Dockrill of Valient Recovery, another satisfied client, concurs. His program works to assess and treat mental health conditions related to alcohol and drug dependency. “Soberlink … provides a really good support system, keeps patients accountable, and helps rebuild trust in family units and relationships,” he said.

Combating PAWS

Entering treatment and realizing you have the opportunity to regain control of your life is exciting. But once the initial withdrawal period has passed and the excitement has died down, recovering alcoholics can begin feeling disenchanted. They took the steps to stop drinking but they’re lives aren’t instantly perfect as a result. That’s when the depression, irritability, mental confusion and general malaise set in.

It’s not a failure in treatment, it’s not a relapse, it’s PAWS.

PAWS stands for post-acute withdrawal syndrome and most recovering alcoholics will experience it. Once the body has effectively gone through physical detox from chronic alcohol abuse, the brain has a hard time catching up. As it works to create new pathways and replace the old ones damaged by drinking, its other processes may slow down causing mental distress.

Not every alcoholic experiences PAWS, but the ones who do may experience it periodically for several years. Thankfully, most are able to effectively cope with the symptoms using a number of self-care strategies. These strategies are similar to coping mechanisms people use to manage depression and anxiety.

The 10 Most Damaging Myths About Alcoholism

By definition, a myth is a widely held but false belief or idea. In the world of alcoholism and treatment, myths are dangerous because they can be determining factors in life and death situations. Be honest, how many of the following myths did you take for fact?

1. The Only Way to Get Better is to Hit “Rock Bottom”

This myth allows alcoholics at any stage in their disease to rationalize their drinking. While some alcoholics do lose everything before they decide to seek treatment, people should and do seek help before they reach this point. You can seek help at any stage in your drinking – whether it’s the first time you binge drink or you’ve been drinking habitually for 25 years. There’s no line you have to cross before it becomes “bad enough”. You can and should seek treatment the moment you feel you need help.