After someone goes through detoxification from drugs or alcohol and gets treatment for the disease, relapse becomes a significant concern for the individual. Studies show that an estimated ⅔ of individuals in recovery relapse within weeks to months of beginning treatment of addiction. There must be a plan to reduce the likelihood of relapse, which is not attributed to just one event.
Some of the causes of relapse include:
There are usually signs and red flags apparent to help prevent relapse or recognize when there’s a risk. Some of the most obvious signs include a behavioral change to a person’s old ways, a change in actions and emotions, and a return to the drug, which they may try to disguise.
Before a physical relapse occurs, there is a mental relapse that can be observed. These include:
Before the above-mentioned occurs, it’s crucial to have a relapse prevention plan that can be set up after recovery, so the risk remains low. A good plan includes prevention strategies such as recognizing certain triggers, tools, and methods for coping with stress and triggers (which may involve counseling with a therapist weekly), and a maintenance plan for daily life. Establishing a healthy lifestyle with self-improvement goals and communication ideas for family and loved ones is also essential to the plan.
A relapse prevention plan template may look like this:
Step 1: Identify personal goals in recovery and motivations for positive change.
Step 2: Create a plan to manage cravings and triggers by labeling specific challenges and methods for overcoming them.
Step 3: Discover ways to improve self-care and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Step 4: Prepare communication tools and establish a support system.
Step 5: Devise strategies in keeping the individual accountable to the plan.
A relapse prevention plan has many benefits in improving all aspects of an addict’s life. When a person refers to the plan when temptations arise, they have something to focus on, a goal to accomplish, and the confidence to continue with their sobriety.