Focus: Addiction: Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery PMC

Learn how we are continuing our mission to be a force of hope and healing, and what we are doing on the front lines to help families and communities affected by opioid addiction. Zemore SE, Subbaraman M, Tonigan JS. Involvement in 12-step activities and treatment outcomes. Holzel BK, Carmody J, Vangel M, Congleton C, Yerramsetti SM, Gard T.

relapse prevention plan

A good friend can talk you down and remind you of all the wonderful things in your life worth protecting by staying off drugs and alcohol. Eat a well-balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Following these healthy habits will help you feel better and more in control of your life. Certain people, places, and situations can drive you back into drinking or using drugs again.


Self-care is essential to avoid creating negative internal emotions that can drive you back to using. It also works to create a new rewards system to replace drugs or alcohol. It can be as simple as a relaxing bath, a special dessert, or a bit of shopping to acknowledge and celebrate your work toward recovery. The idea of having to maintain constant vigilance when it comes to avoiding relapse can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A relapse prevention plan doesn’t have to be something huge and complicated. It can be broken down into just five simple rules that help you focus on what’s most important to your continued recovery. On the other hand, it is important to keep in mind that sometimes relapse does happen.

  • A plan can also help to keep you fully focused on your recovery and accountable for your actions.
  • I want to take better care of myself and improve my lifestyle.
  • Even if the physical act of using drugs or alcohol only occurs once, a person likely needs to return to treatment to address the emotional and mental backslides they experienced.
  • A relapse prevention plan is a vital tool for anyone in recovery.
  • Turnbridge operates leading mental health and substance abuse treatment programs throughout Connecticut.
  • Remember the embarrassing things you may have done or the people you may have hurt.

Another important part of any relapse prevention plan is setting specific goals you can meet. Whether they are daily, weekly, or yearly goals, achieving something can keep you motivated to stick to a healthy way of life. Everyone has different triggers and knowing what your specific ones are can be vital to sober-living. Listing out your triggers for your relapse prevention plan can help you avoid those people, places, and events on a regular basis. A good relapse prevention plan can help bring someone out of a relapse-in-progress in the physical stage.

What Is a Recovery Contract? How Do They Work?

Understand that people in the criminal justice system who have substance addictions are at higher risk for relapse, overdose, and overdose death upon release from prison or jail. In reality, habitual drug use results in altered brain pathways and neurotransmitters. In the beginning, achieving sobriety is, unfortunately, not a linear process. It takes time to establish, readjust, and understand the nuances of addiction recovery. Even long after a drug’s chemicals are no longer in the body, the underlying addiction and cravings may persist. Education is just the first step on our path to improved mental health and emotional wellness.

  • People struggling with substance dependence are constantly in situations that require lying.
  • By making amends with loved one, I would like to start repairing relationships damaged during active addiction.
  • Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density.
  • Many support group options existoutside of the 12-step model, so don’t let bad experiences stand in the way of your recovery.
  • Substance use is a negative coping skill, sohealthy coping skillswill prevent relapse and result in positive outcomes in the long-term.
  • What specific things will be the biggest challenge for you personally, and what can you do to manage them?

Clinical experience has shown that when clients struggle with post-acute withdrawal, they tend to catastrophize their chances of recovery. The cognitive challenge is to encourage clients to measure their progress month-to-month rather than day-to-day or week-to-week. They are caused by insufficient coping skills and/or inadequate planning, which are issues that can be fixed .

Creating Relapse Prevention Plan For Substance Abuse

When it comes to a successful recovery from substance abuse, identifying triggers that may cause a risk of relapse is key. A is a workable blueprint that can help someone protect their recovery from drug addiction. It can include preventable steps, recovery goals, resources, your triggers and how to handle those triggers. Substance abuse is a chronic disorder and relapse happens but having a relapse prevention plan can greatly increase your success and prevent chronic relapsing. It can even be a part of your alcohol and drug addiction treatment program.

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Relapse prevention planning is a powerful component of aftercare and will minimize the likelihood of relapse after discharge. Our science-backed approach boasts 95% of patients reporting no withdrawal symptoms at 7 days. We can help you achieve easier days and a happier future. Include your support people in your action plan, so they know how to best encourage you when needed.

The Most Common Relapse Prevention Model

Gaining an understanding of how relapse works and the psychology behind it is critical in being able to prevent it. The warning signs of relapse often come well before a person falls back into old habits, so it’s important to be able to recognize the red flags. Perhaps high levels of stress at work lead you to fall back into substance abuse.

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. While drafting a relapse prevention, it is important to be as specific as possible. Coping strategies should be those that you are familiar with and willing to engage in.

Best Recovery Books & Blogs & Where to Find Them

Toolkit that supports sites in development of non-police responses to people in crisis. Sarah has also worked as a juvenile court advocate and in community substance use disorder prevention. She received her BA from DePauw University in English and her MA in social services administration with a focus on policy analysis from the University of Chicago. Whether you’re spiritual, religious, or even focused on physical health, these goals can help you recreate better habits that promote both health and wellness.

Here’s the thing about substance use disorders, they humble you. While as humans we like to think we are in control of our lives, the power of a substance use disorder can bring you to your knees. To leave inpatient treatment assured that you’ve “got this thing” is shortsighted, unless you leave with an ironclad relapse prevention plan in hand. Even then, humility should always dictate the need for vigilance.