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How to Come Up with a Relapse Prevention Plan

relapse prevention planRecovering from addiction can be difficult and there are going to be stressful times, which is why it is important to have a relapse prevention plan in place. By preparing how to react when you’re feeling upset or uneasy, you allow yourself to become accustomed to healthier coping mechanisms and ultimately set yourself up for success because you will already know what to do ahead of time. The best part about a relapse prevention method is that you get to know how to better handle situations and you can continue enhancing your recovery at the same time.

What Is a Relapse Prevention Plan?

A relapse prevention plan is a basic procedure designed to deter you from relapse and keep you focused on your recovery from addiction. Some addicts and alcoholics can get overconfident with their recovery and then when an unexpected situation or unpleasant feeling occurs, they slip back into old patterns and behaviors.

Tips to Keep in Mind for Relapse Prevention

Knowing some basic tips that can help prevent a relapse can be extremely helpful during the times when you may feel vulnerable and more susceptible to slipping up with your recovery. The purpose behind any relapse prevention method is to ensure that you don’t relapse and do seek help when necessary.

Understand Your Triggers

Knowing what triggers are and what triggers you specifically have can be extremely helpful because knowing about triggers ahead of time allows you to come up with healthier ways to deal with them. A trigger is a type of cue that causes you to have a craving or desire for substances, even if you’ve been clean for a long period of time.

Some common triggers include returning to certain areas where you used to pick up drugs, going to a certain bar you may have used to get drunk at, seeing certain people that you formerly used substances with, seeing syringes, or even watching drug use or drinking on TV. While you can try to just prevent yourself from being around these types of triggers, not all of these triggers are as easily avoidable, which is why it can help to know what you need to do in order to take care of yourself in the event that you are feeling triggered.

If you had to get blood drawn at the doctor but seeing the needle made you nervous or you were driving somewhere and happened to pass an old place that you used to go to while in active addiction but felt uneasy about passing it, then you may want to consider reaching out to a sponsor, talking with some sober supports, going to a 12 Step meeting to share about it, or speaking about it with a counselor. Triggers can and do happen, but as long as you prepare for how to deal with them in a healthy and more effective manner, you don’t have to let your triggers push you back to negative behaviors or substance use.

Have a Support System

Understanding your triggers is important, but it’s equally as critical to have a support system in place. If you’ve never been to a meeting or never created a network of sober supports, then you’ve significantly decreased the amount of support you could and should have available to you. Whether its the members from a home group at a 12 Step Meeting, a sponsor, or a list of sober individuals, having a support system is necessary because they can allow you to vent about what you are going through and provide suggestions about how to deal with the situation at hand.

Know Where & When to Seek Help

While knowing your triggers and having a support system are necessary, it can also help to have some additional resources for help. There are going to be times that you will want to speak with your support system, but there may be other times when you need to speak with a professional. It’s not unusual for addicts and alcoholics to suffer from a co-occurring disorder, like depression or anxiety. Sometimes, it helps to at least know which therapist, psychiatrist, or medical professional that you can set up an appointment with in case you need the extra, professional help to address a condition or issue.

These are all great tips to help you keep moving along with your recovery and prevent a relapse from happening. Relapse can and does happen, but it’s not a necessary part of recovery. There should be no shame in a relapse, but there are plenty of people who don’t relapse and are able to continue living a sober life. It doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be issues or stressful moments though, which is exactly why it helps to know what to do if you are feeling vulnerable, triggered, or uncomfortable. Having healthy coping mechanisms and creating a plan to address relapse before it has the opportunity to happen can help you continue to live a life in recovery.

Are you having a hard time reaching a life in recovery because you can’t seem to put down the drink or drugs? Contact The Watershed Texas today and begin recovering from addiction. Call now at 1-800-861-1768.

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