Many of those who struggle with addiction will relapse at some point in their recovery—because of this, having a plan to avoid relapses is essential in maintaining your recovery. This is what is known as a relapse prevention plan. In this post, we discuss the top three steps to include on your path to relapse prevention and highlight how Amatus Recovery Centers can help start and keep you on the road to recovery.
How Does A Relapse Happen?
Relapsing is a gradual process. Before someone in recovery goes back to using substances, they first experience a rough internal process. This internal process is split into the emotional and mental stage. Someone in the emotional stage has not yet begun thinking about using substances again. However, the feelings they experience can be precursors. These feelings include:
- Regular mood swings
- Feelings of anxiety, depression, or hopelessness
Often, the emotional and mental relapse stages blend and usher in thoughts of using again. The signs of the mental relapse stage could include romanticizing substance use, thinking fondly of the times you would use, and fantasizing about scenarios that could make you use again. When not addressed, all these thoughts and feelings trigger relapses.
What Is Relapse Prevention?
Fortunately, there are certain tools you could employ to help prevent you from reaching the physical stage and begin using again. A relapse prevention plan is a document someone in recovery creates that provides them with healthy ways of responding to cravings and relapse triggers. Having a prevention plan enables you to acknowledge and address certain events, feelings, and personal behaviors that might lead to relapse and outline ways of staying on track.
Creating a relapse prevention plan is not difficult. You can create one either by yourself or with the help of a professional in drug or alcohol recovery. Although each plan differs, there are a few common steps every prevention plan should include.
Identify Relapse Triggers And Warning Signs
Relapse triggers are events, people, or experiences that could lead someone to use substances again. They could include being around drugs, visiting places where you would use drugs, or spending time with people you abused substances with. Being aware of what your triggers and warning signs are can help you avoid them.
Create An Action Plan
Sometimes, it won’t always be possible for you to avoid triggers. As such, once you identify your relapse triggers, come up with strategies that will enable you to manage them if they occur. Creating an action plan will offer you alternatives to using substances. Consider other ways you could deal with possible stress, frustration, and pain. Try distracting yourself with activities like exercising or attending meetings. Such activities provide healthy distractions and help deter you from acting on possible cravings.
Include A Support System
Involving others is crucial to having a long-lasting recovery. Your support system could include a friend, a therapist, or a family member. They are the people you could contact when you identify relapse triggers or warning signs, and could also be part of your action plan. Those you include in your support system must be able to help and follow up on you, doing so without enabling you.
Let Amatus Recovery Centers Help with Relapse Prevention Today
If you are currently battling substance abuse, the treatment we offer at Amatus Recovery Centers can help get you on the road to recovery. Some of the available treatment options include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Group and individual therapy
- Medication-assisted treatment
Our approach aims to provide you with a treatment program that caters to your specific needs. To further help you attain lasting recovery, our treatment will also arm you with the tools needed for relapse prevention. Contact Amatus Recovery Centers at 833.631.0525 to find out more and start your recovery today.