When someone has an addiction problem like alcoholism, they may need help staying away from harmful substances. This can mean avoiding certain places where drugs might be available, having rules about when and why one drinks, and learning ways to cope with urges to drink. A relapse prevention plan is a tool used by individuals recovering from substance use disorders to keep themselves on track toward lasting abstinence. It provides guidelines for dealing with situations that trigger addictive behavior.
Steps to Creating a Relapse Prevention Plan
1. Identify Your Triggers
Triggers can range anywhere from an emotional trigger like feeling lonely or bored, to a physical one like being hungry or tired.
It is important to note that there will always be some type of trigger that leads to a craving or urge to drink or take drugs again. However, identifying these triggers can help you better understand why they occur and give you insight into where you might need additional support.
2. Determine How You Will Respond When the Trigger Occurs
Once you have identified your triggers, it’s time to determine how you will respond if any of them occurs. For example: If you are going out to a social gathering where alcohol is present, what steps do you intend to take before leaving home to avoid drinking? Or, if you find yourself in a situation where alcohol is readily accessible, what actions would you take to avoid getting intoxicated?
3. Create Rules That Help Keep You On Track
Rules should include things such as “If I am tempted to use alcohol/drugs, then I will call my sponsor first thing tomorrow morning” or “I will avoid going by a place that reminds me of when I used to drink alcohol.” These types of rules provide structure around which you can build coping skills. They also allow you to practice new behaviors without risking relapsing back into old habits.
4. Practice Coping Skills Before Engaging in Potentially Dangerous Environments
Practicing coping skills prior to going out drinking helps prevent cravings and allows you to stay sober during social events. Examples of coping skills include taking deep breaths, counting backwards from 100, talking to friends who support your recovery, consulting your sponsor, and asking people to leave if they start acting inappropriately.
5. Stay Connected With Support Systems
Having supportive relationships with family members, friends, and other loved ones is essential to maintaining sobriety. Having positive interactions with others keeps us grounded and prevents our minds from wandering off course.
Let Schick Shadel Help You Get Sober and Stay Sober
Relapse prevention plans are designed to prevent relapse after treatment. They are used to help patients understand what triggers their cravings and urges to use substances again. At Schick Shadel Hospital, Our staff are specialized in addiction treatment and will work with you to create a relapse prevention plan that is tailored to your individual needs.
If you or a loved one are ready to make a change away from drug and alcohol addiction, Call us today at 1(800)CRAVING to get started.