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What Is a Relapse Prevention Plan?

a person talks with a therapist potentially making a Relapse prevention plan

Substance abuse recovery does not end once detox or treatment is complete. Those in recovery can still be at risk for relapse. Lifelong sobriety is a choice that you must continually make for yourself. Addiction treatment centers offer various services and programs that help clients feel prepared for long-term recovery. At Rise Above Treatment, we offer a relapse program prevention program where clients create a relapse prevention plan to ensure they can succeed in their recovery.

What Is a Relapse Prevention Plan?

A relapse prevention plan consists of strategies to decrease the risk of abusing substances after addiction treatment. It is a detailed discharge document that clients create in close collaboration with sponsors and therapists. The document includes techniques, tools, and resources to help you avoid relapse after treatment and stay in recovery.

A relapse prevention plan aims to prevent relapse in the initial stages after addiction treatment. Clients identify strategies to use if they face past triggers and may want to relapse. In addition, clients identify resources they can turn to if a relapse does occur. A relapse prevention plan is specific to each client and their unique circumstances. Creating a relapse prevention plan is essential to the addiction recovery process and can make a difference in long-term recovery.

Relapse Prevention Planning

Returning home after rehab is a challenging part of the addiction recovery process. Relapse becomes a greater concern during this stage. That is why relapse prevention planning is essential to maintaining long-term sobriety. A relapse prevention plan helps clients gradually transition back into everyday life while still receiving support and encouragement from sponsors, addiction therapists, and peers.

Relapse prevention planning can include relapse prevention exercises that therapists and counselors recommend. These are ways for clients to protect their long-term recovery after they leave our facility. Learning healthy ways to manage stress and negative emotions can better prepare you to maintain lifelong sobriety. Relapse prevention planning can also be a way for you to hold yourself accountable during recovery. In addition, sponsors and therapists can adapt your relapse prevention plan as time goes on and your needs or circumstances change.

Relapse Prevention Plan Example

Here are some steps for creating a relapse prevention plan:

  • Identify your personal goals for recovery
  • Identify situations and triggers that may increase the risk of relapse
  • Learn healthy coping strategies to manage stress and triggers
  • Make a daily routine that can help you improve self-care and maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Set up a healthy support system
  • Develop strategies to keep yourself accountable.

These tips for a relapse prevention plan show how each program works, specifically for the individual. Each person’s goals, situations, and triggers will differ, so their relapse prevention plan must reflect that.

Below is a relapse prevention plan example:

  • Personal goals
    • Becoming financially independent and stable
    • Improving physical fitness and overall health
    • Restore relationships with friends and family
  • Potential triggers
    • Hanging out with old friends who abuse substances
    • Parties and social activities where drugs or alcohol may be around
    • Financial problems or work-related stress
    • Trouble with a partner or home life
  • Healthy coping strategies
    • Practicing meditation each day
    • Attending individual or group therapy sessions once a week
    • Keeping a journal
  • Daily routine
    • Eating healthy and balanced meals and drinking enough water
    • Exercising three to five times a week
    • Going to bed at a reasonable hour to a good night’s sleep each night
  • Healthy support system
    • Mentor or sponsor
    • Family members
    • Sober friends
    • Substance abuse treatment providers

Relapse Prevention Plans at Rise Above Treatment in Murrieta, California

If you or someone you know is living with addiction, the first step is to seek help. Addiction requires treatment in a safe environment with medical professionals. At Rise Above Treatment, our large medical staff offers a variety of treatments and programs, including a relapse prevention treatment program where clients work with our team to create a relapse prevention plan tailored to their recovery process. Reach out to Rise Above Treatment today at (877) 641-0717 to learn more about our facility and begin your recovery.

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