Reasons for Higher Relapse Rates After New Years

We made it! A new year is upon us, after a full year of what can only be described as madness and mayhem. From a high-tension election to a global pandemic, we had to learn to adapt and overcome in a way we never deemed imaginable. Now we are standing at the precipice of a whole new year, looking forward to the opportunities that await us with bated breath. The bad news is, things won’t suddenly get better simply because the clock struck midnight and the new year finally decided to roll around. The truth of the matter is that if we want to change – personal, national, or global – we will have to work for it.

Reasons for More Relapses After New Years

For most of us, New Year’s Eve is a time dedicated to personal change. We write out a list of resolutions – get in shape, lose weight, stop smoking cigarettes, start spending more time with loved ones, learn to play the piano – no matter what the case may be, we set personal goals for ourselves and work hard to achieve them. For… about a week. Maybe two, if we don’t lose all of our steam before then. But eventually, our resolutions fall to the wayside, and we are right back where we left off. Why is it so difficult to maintain momentum? It boils down to the same reasons why there are higher relapse rates after New Year’s. In short, it’s because we put too much pressure on ourselves, and we set our goals way too high.

Reasons for Higher Relapse Rates After New Years

Why Are Rates of Relapse Higher After New Years?

The rates of relapse tend to spike directly after New Year’s for a variety of reasons. Some of the more common reasons include:

  • There are a lot of pressures revolving around alcohol during a specific time of year. The holiday season can be quite a trying time for this very reason. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, drinks tend to be flowing. Avoiding social pressures can be quite difficult unless you have the proper tools and coping mechanisms in place.
  • People might look back on the year that they just lived through and get down on themselves for not meeting all of their personal goals. This is especially true when it comes to 2020, a year marked by social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and mandatory quarantines. Remember that if you didn’t get into shape or achieve all of your other goals this year, there is a very good reason why. Cut yourself a little bit of slack, and this year, remember to expect the unexpected and set goals that are easily attainable regardless of the circumstances.
  • Some people might feel as if they can drink successfully or they can control their drinking once they have stayed sober for an entire year. It is important to remember that addiction is a disease of the brain, and while it can be treated it can never be cured. Just one drink can result in immense devastation, and bring you right back to where you were before you got sober.

Recreate Life Counseling and Relapse Prevention Training 

At Recreate Life Counseling we put a strong emphasis on relapse prevention training, and relapse prevention is a vital part of every individual treatment plan. Relapse prevention training focuses on helping clients identify their relapse triggers, which essentially means the people, places, and things that could lead them to drink or pick up their drug of choice after a prolonged period of sobriety.

Clients learn to identify and work through these triggers, employing a variety of techniques and coping mechanisms they learn in individual and group therapy sessions. For more information on the relapse prevention portion of our treatment program, or to learn more about our drug and alcohol rehab program in general, reach out to us at any point in time.