Relapse Prevention Plan: Techniques to Help You Stay on Track

These activities allow you and other group members to share experiences and foster camaraderie. Grounding techniques help you stay calm, destress, and reduce anxiety. They can be relapse prevention skills especially beneficial when cravings feel overpowering. Mindfulness is a practice that involves being present at the moment and being aware of your thoughts without judgment.

  • Once a person has experienced addiction, it is impossible to erase the memory.
  • If the temptation to use again becomes too overwhelming, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
  • It’s important to know which triggers might cause you to relapse and come up with strategies for managing them.

The brain is remarkably plastic—it shapes and reshapes itself, adapts itself in response to experience and environment. Experts in the recovery process believe that relapse is a process and that identifying its stages can help people take preventative action. These mindfulness skills are intended to help the patient increase their awareness of cravings and other unpleasant feelings without judgment of the feelings as “bad” or necessitating a reaction.

Addiction Treatment (Rehab) Guide

Specifically, RP was most effective when applied to alcohol or polysubstance use disorders, combined with the adjunctive use of medication, and when evaluated immediately following treatment. Moderation analyses suggested that RP was consistently efficacious across treatment modalities (individual vs. group) and settings (inpatient vs. outpatient)22. Cognitive restructuring can be used to tackle cognitive errors such as the abstinence violation effect.

  • When individuals pull away from those that help keep them accountable, they tend to let themselves get emotionally lazy.
  • Between 40 percent and 60 percent of individuals relapse within their first year of treatment, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  • Some models of addiction highlight the causative role of early life trauma and emotional pain from it.

A relapse is a common concern when recovering from addiction, but with the correct relapse prevention measures in place, you can decrease the chances of relapsing significantly. Self care is an essential relapse prevention measure because it provides an addict in recovery a healthy foundation with which to direct energy that was used for deflecting accountability through substance abuse. Through learning to manage health and well-being, someone in recovery can place themselves in a position to be open to possibilities and better able to be of service, to their own needs, and to helping others. Individuals use drugs and alcohol to escape negative emotions; however, they also use as a reward and/or to enhance positive emotions [11].

Relapse Prevention Models

Stephen O’Dell has been with Stages of Recovery for over 12 years. He has served in many roles as the company has continued to grow. He also does direct business development and admissions for those in need of services. Stephen’s time with Stages began when he was a client learning how to live his new life in Recovery. He began his journey at the young age of 18 with big dreams and goals.

  • One of the most notable developments in the last decade has been the emergence and increasing application of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) for addictive behaviours.
  • This knowledge can then be used as a learning experience toward improved understanding and skills for relapse prevention in the future.
  • Patients treated for substance use disorder often fall back to their old addictive habits, which becomes a source of frustration for them and their families.
  • If you are an alcoholic in early recovery, is it safe to take a cruise where alcohol will be all around you?

One of the most critical predictors of relapse is the individual’s ability to utilize effective coping strategies in dealing with high-risk situations. Coping is defined as the thoughts and behaviours used to manage the internal and external demands of situations that are appraised as stressful. Moreover, people who have coped successfully with high-risk situations are assumed to experience a heightened sense of self-efficacy4. Outcome expectancies can be defined as an individual’s anticipation or belief of the effects of a behaviour on future experience3. The expected drug effects do not necessarily correspond with the actual effects experienced after consumption.

Relapse Is Not a Failure

These thoughts can lead to anxiety, resentments, stress, and depression, all of which can lead to relapse. Cognitive therapy and mind-body relaxation help break old habits and retrain neural circuits to create new, healthier ways of thinking [12,13]. During emotional relapse, individuals are not thinking about using. They remember their last relapse and they don’t want to repeat it.

relapse prevention skills

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