How to Write a Relapse Prevention Plan
Part of addiction recovery is developing effective coping skills, mechanisms, and strategies to help when you experience cravings and triggers that could result in a relapse. These techniques are usually developed during rehab treatment. Initially, you will identify various situations and circumstances that could trigger a relapse, such as being around people who drink or use drugs. Next, you determine what you can do to avoid temptation and learn how to employ the appropriate methods to help you prevent a relapse. This is why a relapse prevention plan is so important before leaving rehab.
What is Relapse?
Relapse occurs when you experience cravings for using drugs and alcohol, and your coping mechanisms are not sufficient enough to prevent you from using. In addition, relapse can occur when you are recovering from addiction.
However, it is essential to remember that relapse is part of the recovery process. While you can feel disappointed you gave in and used drugs or drank alcohol, you should not lose hope. Instead, take the necessary steps to get sober and develop a more effective relapse prevention plan.
What Is a Relapse Prevention Plan?
A relapse prevention plan lists different coping skills, mechanisms, and other things you can do to reduce the likelihood of experiencing a relapse. While your plan does not have to be written down, it is often better to take the time to write it out and keep it with you at all times.
A written relapse prevention plan allows you to review it whenever you feel a trigger or craving. Triggers and cravings can become intense, making it difficult to concentrate and focus on what your relapse prevention entails. Therefore, by having a written plan, you can pull it out and read through it to help give you the encouragement and strength to overcome the triggers or cravings you have from time to time.
What Strategies Should Be Included in a Relapse Prevention Plan?
A solid relapse prevention plan should include the following strategies:
- Identify your specific triggers. You need to know what situations and circumstances could cause you to think about drinking or using drugs.
- Make adjustments to your lifestyle to minimize triggers. For instance, you could end unhealthy relationships with others who encouraged your drinking or drug abuse.
- Learn different coping skills and mechanisms that work for you. Each person will have their own coping tools that work effectively for them. You need to identify which ones will work for you.
- Develop healthy lifestyle habits. You need to eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Maintaining your health and well-being helps you stay focused.
- Identify specific challenges you may face in your daily life. Take the time to go through your daily routines and take note of any situations that could present the potential for relapse.
- Learn how to address and manage stress. Stress is something everyone faces at one point or another. Knowing how to alleviate it using meditation, yoga, or other methods is essential for relapse prevention.
Other Things to Include in a Relapse Prevention Plan
Once you have an outline for your relapse prevention plan, the next step is to write down what you will do when faced with cravings or a triggers. For example, your plan could include a list of phone numbers of people you can call for support.
Your plan should also include:
- Short-term and long-term goals. When you establish goals, it gives you something positive to work towards. Just ensure the goals you create are obtainable.
- A reminder to attend group meetings. Group meetings provide additional support and can be a great resource when you are looking for inspiration to improve your relapse prevention plan.
- How you will hold yourself accountable to your plan. Accountability is an essential part of avoiding relapse and maintaining your sobriety. You need to write down how you will accomplish this.
Furthermore, you should constantly review and update your prevention plan to fit your needs and objective for remaining sober.
What Are the Benefits of Creating a Plan?
The primary benefit of a relapse prevention plan is it can help reduce the likelihood of a relapse. This is because you have a written plan you can rely on whenever you start to feel a craving or a trigger. Furthermore, your plan identifies your triggers, so you can use that information to avoid those situations as best as possible.
Most importantly, your plan helps serve as a template on what to do when you feel overwhelmed and are worried you may give in and start drinking or using drugs again.
Relapse Prevention Plan and Rehab Treatment in Beverly Hills, CA
Developing a solid relapse prevention plan can help keep you on the road to recovery and long-term sobriety. Even though it may not be possible to avoid every trigger entirely, you will know what to do when faced with different situations and circumstances.
At MD Home Detox, we can assist you with your addiction recovery from the comfort of your home with our concierge-level treatment programs. In addition, our programs include assisting you with creating your relapse prevention plan as your take the steps to overcome your addiction.