3 Ways to Create a Relapse Prevention Plan

Moos RH, Brennan PL, Fondacaro MR, Moos BS. Approach and avoidance coping responses among older problem and non-problem drinkers. In a study by McCrady evaluating the effectiveness of psychological interventions for alcohol use disorder such as Brief Interventions and Relapse Prevention was classified as efficacious23. The myths related to substance use can be elicited by exploring the outcome expectancies as well as the cultural background of the client. Following this a decisional matrix can be drawn where pros and cons of continuing or abstaining from substance are elicited and clients’ beliefs may be questioned6. Providing lapse management if a lapse occurs such that further relapses can be prevented4.

What does relapse prevention planning involve?

General Relapse Prevention Strategies

Counsel patients to develop alternative ways to cope with negative emotions. Anxiety, anger, boredom, loneliness and depression are common triggers to drinking or other substance use. This may involve treatment for underlying anxiety and mood disorders.

The plan should be thorough and honest, with multiple responses that can be utilized when the time comes when recovery is threatened. Try to brainstorm a list of scenarios that could lead to potential relapse and list thewarning signs of relapse. Some people begin to feel, think or behave relapse prevention plan differently when a relapse is brewing. A relapse prevention plan is a vital tool for anyone in recovery. Having a plan helps you recognize your own personal behaviors that may point to relapse in the future. It also outlines ways to combat those behaviors and get back on track.


What Are the Benefits of Relapse Prevention?

I want to make amends with friends and family members who have suffered as a result of my addiction and seek to improve these relationships. I want to be more physically fit and will work to take better care of my body. Relapse is a return to drug and/or alcohol use after a period of abstinence.

When creating a relapse prevention plan, health professionals at your treatment center will have you develop a written document of all the people in your life that triggered your substance abuse. These are people that will not be positive for your recovery. It may seem difficult to cut people out of your life, but remember it is ultimately what’s best for you to manage. Moving forward in your life will often mean letting go of the past.

What Are Common Reasons Why People Relapse After Addiction Treatment?

She holds a BA in interdisciplinary studies from Thomas Edison State College, and a Master’s in Healthcare Management with a concentration in project management from Stevenson University. She completed her graduate capstone at Mosaic Community Services, now an affiliate of Sheppard Pratt. He has published and presented research articles in the field of organizational psychology at national healthcare conferences. Dr. Cusner is completing a book on organizational psychology in the healthcare field, which is expected to be published late early summer 2022. That being said, there are some distinct stages as well as signs that loved ones can learn to look for. Know each participant’s individual triggers for substance use relapse upon release.

  • Marlatt, based on clinical data, describes categories of relapse determinants which help in developing a detailed taxonomy of high-risk situations.
  • When you feel strong and you’re motivated to not use, then tell yourself that you won’t use for the next week or the next month.
  • I like to tell patients that a simple test of complete honesty is that they should feel “uncomfortably honest” when sharing within their recovery circle.
  • Its symptoms also tend to be similar for most addictions, unlike acute withdrawal, which tends to have specific symptoms for each addiction .
  • It then becomes more mental, often turning into regular fantasies about drugs and alcohol or thinking about opportunities to use drugs.

The transition between emotional and mental relapse is not arbitrary, but the natural consequence of prolonged, poor self-care. When individuals exhibit poor self-care and live in emotional relapse long enough, eventually they start to feel uncomfortable in their own skin. As their tension builds, they start to think about using just to escape. By the time most individuals seek help, they have already tried to quit on their own and they are looking for a better solution. This article offers a practical approach to relapse prevention that works well in both individual and group therapy. Witkiewitz K, Marlatt GA, Walker D. Mindfulness based relapse prevention for alcohol and substance use disorders.


The difference between these two variables are that tonic processes represent how susceptible one is to relapse while phasic responses serve as factors that either cause or prevent relapse. Know who you will call first, what you will ask of them, and if you will attend a meeting or return to rehab. The more detailed this plan is, the more likely you will be to get yourself back on track quickly.

In some instances, lead case planners or family may also be able to administer naloxone if they have been trained in naloxone administration and someone overdoses from opioids. The person should guide the development of the plan based on their own experience with addiction. This information can be gleaned from the person either individually or from group therapy sessions. They should also understand the purpose of the plan and the plan’s contents before they agree to follow it. Addiction is a chronic disease often marked by cycles of relapse and remission. Further, rates of overdose and overdose deaths among people reentering the community from jail or prison are alarmingly high, due to relapse to substance use.

Importance of Relapse Prevention Strategies

To answer the question, https://ecosoberhouse.com/, it’s ultimately your ability to maintain the momentum and positivity from your treatment, and work toward lifelong recovery. The danger stems from responding to these emotions by self-medicating and withdrawing from your support network. Coping skills can help you deal with emotional triggers in a healthy manner, so you can avoid relapse. Methods for physical and mental self-care.Relapse prevention strategies to manage triggers or cravings.A list of people you can contact if you relapse.