Alcohol can temporarily relieve stressful feelings, but they return once the drinker stops drinking. Meet new people and create new social circles that encourage your recovery. It can be very beneficial to set up a daily ritual for maintaining physical health, such as a structured sleep schedule, a plan for balanced meals, and a fitness regime.

  • In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, relapsing in substance use disorders was compared to relapsing among those suffering from hypertension and asthma.
  • If you have any concern that our content is inaccurate or it should be updated, please let our team know at [email protected].
  • They know they shouldn’t drink, but a part of them still looks for excuses to do so.
  • Clinical experience has shown that common causes of relapse in this stage are poor self-care and not going to self-help groups.
  • Preliminary evidence suggests Black and Latino individuals may not derive as much benefit from Relapse Prevention (RP) as White individuals.

Boredom or lack of purpose often occurs when individuals lack meaningful activities in their lives. Physical discomfort or pain is another cause and can result from chronic illness or injury. Complacency arises when an individual becomes too comfortable with their progress in recovery and stops putting effort into maintaining it. Within the framework of a relapse prevention plan, individuals identify potential triggers—those circumstances, emotions, or situations that could tempt them back towards substance use.

Relapse Prevention

This can be done on your own or by sitting down with a professional. Each individual’s needs will vary, so it is important to assess where you are in your recovery and to be honest with yourself. With a relapse prevention plan, it is possible to acknowledge and act upon certain feelings and events, in turn avoiding a physical relapse (which is the stage when someone returns to drug or alcohol use). Screening is the first step to identifying who needs a relapse prevention plan. Because people who have an addiction often use multiple substances, correctional agencies should have universal screening for use of multiple substances at booking or intake. Screening should be administered by correctional facility staff early on to identify people who have addiction and those who use substances in ways that threaten their health and safety.

  • The negative thinking that underlies addictive thinking is usually all-or-nothing thinking, disqualifying the positives, catastrophizing, and negatively self-labeling [9].
  • In this section, we will take a closer look at how we can evaluate the effectiveness of the plan through regularly monitoring progress and identifying areas for improvement.
  • In a study conducted at a large, publicly funded addiction treatment facility affiliated with Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, data from 878 patients over a 1-year period was analyzed.

A trigger is something that can cause stress and potentially induce cravings to drink or use drugs. They may be caused by certain events, places, people, or circumstances. For instance, you may frequent certain places where you always drink beer with your buddies, and these people and/or places may need to be avoided, at least for a while. Stress is a natural part of life, and it is important to have coping mechanisms and tools in place for managing it healthily. A relapse prevention plan that is written down can serve as a handy and concrete physical guide that can be referenced as needed. This plan is often discussed and ironed out during counseling and therapy sessions as part of a complete addiction treatment program; however, it can be created in any setting at any time.

Relapse Prevention Plan Example

A missing piece of the puzzle for many clients is understanding the difference between selfishness and self-care. Clinical experience has shown that addicted individuals typically take less than they need, and, as a result, they become exhausted or resentful and turn to their addiction to relax or escape. Part of challenging addictive thinking is to encourage clients to see that they cannot be good to others if they are first not good to themselves.

A relapse prevention plan 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 goals for the future are. There are many resources available for families who want to create a relapse prevention plan, including support groups, therapy, and online resources such as articles and videos. It is important to find resources that are tailored to individual needs and preferences. Identifying and utilizing family strengths is a crucial aspect of the family-centered approach to relapse prevention. By recognizing the unique assets that each family member brings to the table, families can work together to build a strong support system that can help their loved one stay on track in their recovery journey.

Identify Triggers

Write down things that have helped you stay sober on your recovery journey. Positive coping skills include attending support groups, exercising, journaling, and eating healthy foods to minimize intense cravings. This relapse prevention plan template is intended to be filled out by a patient with their Behavioral Health Care Manager in the months prior to completing an episode of Collaborative Care. We also have a Relapse Prevention Plan Template (Spanish) available in Spanish. He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture. A relapse prevention model is a simplistic way of explaining what motivates a person to stay sober and what factors contribute to a slip-up.

relapse prevention plan

If you can’t address the problems of emotional and mental relapse, it doesn’t take long to progress to physical relapse. For this reason, understanding and recognizing the signs of emotional and mental relapse is crucial. Finding hobbies that keep you busy and occupy the mind can be a great relapse prevention tool as well.

FAQs about Helping Your Loved One Create A Relapse Prevention Plan: A Family-Centered Approach

The Relapse Prevention Plan worksheet provides a bare-bones structure for creating such a plan. This resource will ask your client to identify red flags warning them that they’re near relapse, people they can call during cravings, and things they can do to take their mind off using. Because of this worksheets open-ended nature, we suggest using it as a prompt for conversation in groups. During this stage, recovering alcoholics must confront the damage their addiction caused to relationships, their careers, their finances, and how they feel about themselves. Ask yourself questions like, “are you giving yourself enough time to rest? ” If the answer to these questions is no, it might be time to take a step back and practice self-care.

The growth stage is about moving forward and typically begins three to five years after alcohol cessation. The abstinence stage starts immediately after alcohol cessation and can last for one to two years. During this stage, the main focus is fighting cravings and avoiding alcohol use. Driving to the liquor store and purchasing alcohol are also considered physical relapses.

They know they shouldn’t drink, but a part of them still looks for excuses to do so. Some people find that certain smells, music, or even words trigger them to think about drinking. Identifying any triggers that might make you want to drink again is essential. Going through withdrawal can lead to a relapse because the person feels miserable without alcohol.

relapse prevention plan

In the context of relapse prevention, establishing consistent routines is essential to help your loved one maintain sobriety. A supportive environment helps to motivate the loved one in recovery by rewarding their progress and providing encouragement even in difficult times. The presence of family members who care about their well-being empowers them to stay on track with their goals. Positive reinforcement prevents individuals from slipping back into old habits because it makes them feel emotionally fulfilled as opposed to seeking instant gratification through drug or alcohol use. Setting SMART Goals for Successful Prevention is one of the essential steps to prepare for relapse prevention planning. It involves creating specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals that help individuals and their families work towards a successful recovery journey.

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