Addiction Plan for Relapse Prevention & Recovery Success

With anything in life, if we have a desire to achieve something, we start with a plan. A plan with specific actions will help us reach our goals and achieve the desired result. This is no different for recovery, but perhaps even more significant. Those suffering from drug addiction and alcoholism need a relapse prevention plan. Without a relapse prevention plan, the disease of addiction and alcoholism may conquer your best intentions. Relapse is a process that happens over time. There are three stages of relapse whereby you can identify signs and symptoms:

Emotional Relapse

This is the easiest stage to resist if you can recognize the signs which are often times the symptoms of withdrawal. Once you understand you are in emotional relapse you can change your behavior and reach out for help. If you don’t alter yourself at this point, then mental relapse sets in.

Mental Relapse

Your mind is kind of like a yo-yo during this phase of relapse, thinking about using drugs and not wanting to use drugs. Visualize what would happen if you did use and refrain from minimizing or justifying. Be honest with yourself and realize one drink or hit leads to another. Call your sponsor, go to a meeting and don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking recovery is forever. Relax and take one day at a time.

Physical Relapse

It’s difficult to stop relapse once you are at the physical relapse stage. Addressing the signs and overcoming them at the emotional relapse and mental relapse stages will help avoid the actual physical relapse.

Some Considerations for a Relapse Prevention Plan

  • Take good care of yourself (eat well, good night’s sleep, exercise, relax, ask for help, etc.)
  • Identify triggers that lead to relapse (glamorizing using drugs or alcohol, hanging out with old friends, etc.)
  • Develop coping mechanisms (to deal with anxiety, frustration, perfectionism, decision-making, etc.)
  • Create a balanced life (relationships, work/school, home, community, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being)
  • Surround yourself with a good support system (recovery alumni community, 12-step meetings, sponsor, therapist, recovery coach, etc.)
For more information about relapse prevention, medical detox and addiction treatment, please contact Valley Detox Center 24/7 at (888) 544-6049.
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