For many people, avoiding a drug or alcohol relapse is the hardest part of addiction recovery. To further put this into context, studies show that an estimated 66 to 80 percent of relapses occur within the first 6 months of completing treatment. The best way to achieve long-term recovery success is by having a relapse prevention plan in place.
Relapse Prevention Therapy plays a major role in helping individuals stay clean and sober in recovery. It places emphasis on coping skills training that enables clients to handle high-risk situations and avoid relapse. Coping strategies are critical in teaching clients how to effectively deal with negative emotions and potentially high-risk situations.
Through a variety of cognitive and behavioral techniques, clients will improve their self-awareness and decrease their negative thought patterns. Not only will they learn how to identify their destructive ways of thinking, they also learn how to refrain them into thoughts that are positive, encouraging, and supportive. Relapse Prevention Therapy also guides clients through lifestyle changes that support and enhance recovery.
What Is Substance Abuse Relapse?
When it comes to drugs or alcohol, relapse is a term used to identify an instance where an individual who has abstained from drugs or alcohol for any length of time starts using again. In many cases, a relapse is the result of either stress or surrounding one’s self with people who are still using. Additionally, some individuals may relapse if they encounter severe withdrawals symptoms while trying to come clean.
What Is a Relapse Prevention Plan?
Now that we have a better understanding of what constitutes a relapse, let’s take a closer look at the benefits that come with having a relapse prevention plan. For those who may not be familiar with a relapse prevention plan, it is a plan that helps individuals recognize thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that have the potential of leading to a relapse. A good relapse prevention plan also provides individuals with the tools they need to effectively combat those thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
What Should Be Included in a Relapse Prevention Plan?
A good relapse prevention plan should address the specific needs of the patient. Ideally, patients should work with a substance abuse counselor to ensure that the plan is well-organized and explicitly details steps that should be taken to help prevent a relapse.
Some of the most effective relapse prevention plans include:
Triggers – This portion of the relapse prevention plan should consist of people, places, and things that could potentially trigger a relapse.
Cravings – This portion of the plan should contain the names and phones numbers of friends and family that you can call whenever you feel like your cravings are getting the best of you.
Healthy distractions – This portion of the plan should contain a list of activities that can distract you from the temptation to start using again. Some of the most common healthy distractions include creating a gratitude list, journaling, meditating, exercising, and attending support meetings.
Damage control – This portion of the plan should address how you plan to salvage the relationship with your spouse, employer, and others that you may have wronged as a result of abusing drugs or alcohol. This step is critical in that it can strengthen your resolve to stay clean long-term.
The right relapse prevention plan can help prevent a drug or alcohol relapse and should be part of a comprehensive drug or alcohol treatment program. That said, it is important to work with a substance abuse counselor as well as friends and family to outline a plan that will work best for you.
Get Involved in Recovery Today!
If you’re interested in learning more about Relapse Prevention Plans or how Novo Detox Center can personalize a drug detox program for you, please contact us today. Together we can help you begin your journey to a successful long-term sobriety.