The potential of having a relapse is always present in the lives of individuals in recovery. It can happen to people who have been sober for years. Having a relapse prevention plan to fall back on can help you deal with that possibility. The presence of a relapse plan should be seen as a sign of your commitment to remaining sober. You’re prepared in case you end up having a setback on your recovery journey. Fresh Start Recovery Center offers guidance to clients in addiction recovery who are looking for ways to navigate relapse triggers.

The Benefits of a Relapse Prevention Plan

Addiction is a chronic illness that will require lifetime management. Relapse is a possibility even in those who have remained sober for years. Issues, events, or situations that can trigger a relapse can include:

  • The death of a loved one
  • Financial issues
  • Relationship problems
  • Walking past a place that reminds you of past substance use

Remember that even if you do find yourself relapsing, that doesn’t mean that you have failed. Still, most people want to do everything they can to keep themselves from getting to that state. Having a relapse plan prepared can go a long way toward avoiding that possibility.

It doesn’t matter what template you use to create your relapse prevention plan. Some people like to make more elaborate and detailed plans, while others might want to include visual cues instead of words. The important thing is that the outline includes strategies built around your needs that are realistic and achievable. Below are three elements that you may want to have in your relapse prevention program.

What To Do In a Worst-Case Scenario

Try to outline specific steps you can follow if you do find yourself relapsing. Try to include the names of everyone you can reach out to if you give in to temptation. You want your plan to include people who are trustworthy and have your best interests at heart. Their concern should be on getting you some help instead of acting like nothing is wrong. You will need their support as you decide on your next steps, like going to a meeting or enrolling in a rehab program.

Your Specific Relapse Triggers

Spelling out the people, places, or situations that might cause you to relapse can be helpful. The details should include specific reactions you have and the amount of risk that each case brings. Sometimes it’s a friend from your days of substance abuse or the basement in your home where you used to go and drink in privacy. It may also be beneficial to document situations that might bring about feelings of boredom, making the idea of using drugs or alcohol again more tempting.

What Caused You to Seek Treatment

While you don’t want to dwell on negative events from your past, it can be helpful to detail what drove you to addiction. Your relapse prevention plan doesn’t have to include every ugly experience. But it’s something you can look at when you find yourself feeling overconfident in your ability to handle temptation. It’s something you can look at when you find yourself thinking you can have just one drink or feel you can safely spend an evening with old friends that you know are still using drugs.

Your relapse prevention plan doesn’t need to remain static. You can decide to switch out, add, or remove items as you progress in your addiction recovery journey.

Get Help With Relapse Prevention at Fresh Start Recovery Center

Fresh Start Recovery Center provides outpatient services to clients looking for help with substance use disorders and underlying mental health issues. Our addiction treatment services and therapies include:

Fresh Start Recovery Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland, offers comprehensive treatment for substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. We are conveniently located close to the Washington, D.C. metro area and Maryland’s Montgomery, Howard and Frederick counties. Fresh Start is dedicated to serving the communities in the state of Maryland and also along the East Coast. We offer Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient, and Outpatient programs at our beautiful facility.