Developing A Relapse Prevention Plan


This can be done by setting up and following a structured sleep, exercise, and eating schedule. By doing this, one can retrain the body to sleep better and will also help reduce the risk of relapse. It’s hard to stop the process of relapse at that point. That’s not where you should focus your efforts in recovery. If you recognize the early warning signs of relapse, and understand the symptoms of post-acute withdrawal, you’ll be able to catch yourself before it’s too late.

A good relapse prevention plan should always be maintained. In addition, we provide a relapse prevention program to all of our clients.

These tools are intended to supplement treatment, and are not a replacement for appropriate training. Don’t think about whether you can stay abstinent forever. It’s overwhelming even for people who’ve been in recovery for a long time. When you think about using, the fantasy is that you’ll be able to control your use this time. You’ll wake up the next day feeling disappointed in yourself.

When you purchase any of these services, WebMD may receive a fee. WebMD does not endorse any product, service or treatment referred to on this page. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction,contact The Recovery Village today. Our trained professionals will help you find treatment options that best suit your needs. Know who you will call first, what you will ask of them, and if you will attend a meeting or return to rehab. Make sure the people included in your plan have the necessary knowledge should you need their assistance. As those in recovery know, a relapse is never out of the realm of possibility–no matter how long you’ve been sober.

Recovering individuals are often overwhelmed by the idea of change. As part of their all-or-nothing thinking, they assume that change means they must change everything in their lives.

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Part of creating a new life in recovery is finding time to relax. Addicts must lie about getting their drug, hiding the drug, denying the consequences, and planning their next relapse. Eventually, addicted individuals end up lying to themselves. Clinical experience shows that when clients feel they cannot be completely honest, it is a sign of emotional relapse. It is often said that recovering individuals are as sick as their secrets.

relapse prevention plan

Without it, individuals can go to self-help meetings, have a sponsor, do step work, and still relapse. Self-care is difficult because recovering individuals tend to be hard on themselves . Self-care is especially difficult for adult children of addicts . 5) People think that they have a better understanding of drugs and alcohol and, therefore, think they should be able to control a relapse or avoid the negative consequences. In late stage recovery, individuals are subject to special risks of relapse that are not often seen in the early stages.

What Can You Expect During Relapse Prevention?

It helps you realize how far you’ve come, how much you can do, and to be thankful for that. Although these feelings and thoughts are common, not addressing them is what might lead to relapse. That, added to a lack of attendance in support group meetings or therapy, can be a dangerous combination. relapse prevention plan The more care you take with developing this important plan of action, the more effective it will be when cravings emerge or triggers spark uncomfortable emotions. The plan should be thorough and honest, with multiple responses that can be utilized when the time comes when recovery is threatened.

relapse prevention plan

We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. While you can create a relapse prevention plan on your own, it may be helpful to walk through the process with someone who has knowledge of the topic like a substance abuse counselor. Relapse plans can be verbalized but may also be written in order to have a more clear outline of what steps to take should a relapse seem to be a possibility.

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Rather than seeing the need for change as a negative, they are encouraged to see recovery as an opportunity for change. If they make the necessary changes, they can go forward and be happier than they were before. It forces people to reevaluate their lives and make changes that non-addicts don’t have to make. Probably the most important thing to understand about post-acute withdrawal is its prolonged duration, which can last up to 2 years .

  • List the people and resources in your support network.
  • Professional helpduring treatment in creating your written plan, so there’s no need to worry about missing a step.
  • For example, long-term drug treatment against drugs and alcohol is much more effective at preventing relapse than short-term treatment.
  • You’re isolating yourself and keeping your emotions bottled up.
  • Relaxation is an important part of relapse prevention, because when you’re tense you tend to do what’s familiar and wrong, instead of what’s new and right.

This can help with your decision making and reduce the risk of relapse. When you think about using, do something to occupy yourself. If you just sit there with your urge and don’t do anything, you’re giving your mental relapse room to grow. In mental relapse there’s a war going on in your mind. In the early phase of mental relapse you’re just idly thinking about using. But in the later phase you’re definitely thinking about using. Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center.

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When individuals exhibit poor self-care and live in emotional relapse long enough, eventually they start to feel uncomfortable in their own skin. They begin to feel restless, irritable, and discontent.

  • Each individual’s needs will vary, so it is important to assess where you are in your recovery and to behonest with yourself.
  • At Bluff, support in maintaining sobriety doesn’t end when a patient leaves our residential treatment center or completes PHP or IOP.
  • It generally also includes relapse prevention education, which is a more formal process of learning about relapse.
  • It does not indicate failure, as it is often a natural part of the healing process.
  • When you think about using, do something to occupy yourself.
  • If you understand post-acute withdrawal it’s easier to avoid relapse, because the early stage of relapse is easiest to pull back from.

A warning sign is when clients ask for professional help and consistently ignore the advice. 1) Clients often want to put their addiction behind them and forget that they ever had an addiction. They feel they have lost part of their life to addiction and don’t want to spend the rest of their life focused on recovery.

Each relapse prevention plan will be personal and specific to you, but there are some general things that should be included. Since relapse often starts with the emotional and then mental aspect, it’s important to recognize your own personal responses.

Therefore, they feel it is defensible or necessary to escape their negative feelings. The cognitive challenge is to indicate that negative feelings are not signs of failure, but a normal part of life and opportunities for growth.

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If you have a sponsor, they should be one of the first people you turn to if you feel like a relapse is a possibility. Since they’ve likely been in your shoes, they may have some insight and suggestions. Contacting the supportive people in your life can have a tremendous impact on cravings and relapse. Things to include in your plan are triggers, cravings, coping tools and support group information. They immediately got her on a treatment program for both her mental and physical health. At New Directions for Women, we ensure group counseling is available to provide strong support networks. We make sure that no woman feels isolated during any part of her recovery process.

Now you will quickly lose control and your substance use will spiral further out of control. This will cause the expected problems with relationships, jobs, money, and mental and physical health.

Establish An Action Plan

It takes time to establish new healthy habits in recovery. Recovery skills are in their nascent form, not practiced and second nature yet. Deep breathing releases neurotransmitters in your brain, many of which trigger feel-good chemicals resulting in relaxation, happiness, and pain reduction. Deep breathing, and the resulting increased oxygen flow, also encourages your body to exhale toxins. Take four deep breaths in through your nose and hold, then release for four seconds. You should feel your diaphragm moving in and out while you breathe. Deep breathing is an excellent relapse prevention technique because it can be utilized virtually anywhere without anyone knowing you’re doing it.

What Is Relapse?

The plan may change with time and as you identify new or different areas of your life that you may wish to focus on. Finding hobbies that keep you busy and occupy the mind can be a great relapse prevention tool as well. Take up a creative outlet like dance or painting, attend a yoga class, and find ways to help yourself relax. Decide how to take care of yourself physically and emotionally, and make plans to schedule this practice into your daily life. A is individual, and it will not be the same for everyone. It is important for you to think about what you want out of recovery and what your own personal goals for the future are.

From therapy to group activities, our goal is to give you all the tools to overcome alcohol or drug use and make it through the recovery stages. A relapse prevention plan includes strategies to reduce the risk of going back to substance misuse after addiction treatment. Find out more about relapse prevention plans and useful tips for planning one. The type of treatment itself can have important implications for your relapse, or avoidance of it. For example, relapse prevention drug treatment can help you keep a positive mindset in order to prevent falling back into substance abuse or using drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. Focus on your progress and where you’re going—recovery!