The Importance of Having a Relapse Prevention Plan in Recovery

Relapse Prevention Plan – Why You Need One and What It Should Include

The moment a person steps out of rehab after beating an addiction is one of great achievement. To overcome something that oppressed so many areas of a person’s life is certainly something to celebrate, but just because a person made it through rehab doesn’t mean that the struggle is over. According to studies, relapse is a common occurrence, especially during the first year; 40-60 percent of people in their first year of recovery from addiction start using again. A relapse prevention plan is therefore of extreme importance for recovering addicts.

Why is a relapse prevention plan so important to have and follow, and how do you create a suitable plan?

Why is a Relapse Prevention Plan Needed?

Addiction is categorized by relapsing use, as one can see when looking at first-year relapse rates. However, addiction is not a life-long sentence of repeated substance abuse. Sure, it may take a person a few tries to get it right, but the time that they do get it right, it’s usually because they had a proper relapse prevention plan in place that they followed long after leaving rehab.

A plan can help to create clear goals and responses to stressors. It can help to give a person confidence by working towards smaller goals instead of being overwhelmed by looking at life-long sobriety when that particular day is hard enough to deal with.

How to Create a Relapse Prevention Plan

A plan can be seen as a system for recovery – one which helps you to achieve your goals one step at a time. How to create a relapse prevention plan should begin by looking at the various aspects of recovery from addiction that you’ll face. These include the following:

  • Spiritual balance– A set of spiritual principals acts as guides for our daily lives. When these are aligned with your goals, recovery can become easier. Spirituality is about getting in touch with something greater than your conscious mind. Every day, take mental stock of your beliefs, attitude your judgments and the way you deal with cravings. Mindfulness can allow you to embrace all aspects of your transformation.
  • Taking care of your body – Drug abuse takes a great toll on a person’s body. Without a healthy body, you can’t expect to feel balanced and ready to face whatever life can throw at you. Taking care of your health is an important part of relapse prevention strategies. Eat and drink healthily, and get into a regular exercise routine.
  • Stay connected – We all need someone to talk to and connect with. We need these support systems to cope with many of the stressors that enter our lives. Find the support you need by attending regular support group meetings and look to repair once-healthy relationships with loved ones so that you can be there for each other in times of need.
  • Find new things to fill your life with – Substance abuse takes up a great deal of time in an addict’s life. When a person finally stops, they may find near-endless free time on their hands. Boredom can lead to obsessive thoughts invading one’s mind, such as cravings and romanticizing past substance abuse. As a part of relapse prevention strategies, it is important to find something new to fill your free time, whether it’s a new hobby or just something to keep you occupied.

Sources:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/193144

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.