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Tips for Recovery – What Is a Relapse Prevention Plan?
Relapse is a reality for most people in recovery. Although having a relapse prevention plan in place may make it seem like you are planning to fail, Psychology Today states that it is a good tool to get you back on the right path if and when you stumble. It is a plan that helps you understand the nature of relapse, which is critical to maintaining your recovery. Here are some tips that can help you put an effective strategy in place to prevent relapse.
Accept the addiction
Addiction takes control of a person’s mind and body. Some people may be more predisposed to addiction than others due to genetics and brain chemistry. Regaining control is a critical element of relapse prevention. Emotions, people, places, stressors and circumstances are all triggers that can hinder recovery. Even with the best efforts and a supportive family, relapse is still a possibility, which is why it is crucial to follow certain guidelines to keep on track.
Recognize relapse rates
There are several chronic relapse diseases beyond addiction: Asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure are among the most common. Relapse also occurs in those struggling with bipolar and other mental health conditions. It is important to understand the statistics and learn how to cope through treatment. Realizing the severity of the choices made is also part of the education process that can help those suffering from addiction stay on track and prevent relapse.
Understand that change is normal
With the right support and wisdom, recovery is possible, even if a person has relapsed in the past. Taking back control requires understanding that change in circumstances, environment, and people are all imminent. Finding ways to improve the situation requires analyzing the surroundings.
According to Project Know, the more knowledge a person has, the more powerful they can become, from reading or watching videos to attending meetings. Enrolling in programs can help inspire one’s educational journey by pointing them towards the right research topics. A past relapse can be used as a learning experience to help plan for a better future.
Find the positive energy
Although it may seem cliché, being immersed in a positive environment with positive people can boost recovery. It helps make for a balanced and healthy life. Learning the recovery stories of others and focusing on the things that spark joy can help build a solid foundation for life without relapse.
Identify triggers and cravings
A comprehensive relapse recovery plan can help identify the factors that are most likely to cause one to stumble. The most common triggers include:
- The company of old friends
- Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety and physical weakness
- Uncomfortable emotions including fatigue, hunger, anger and loneliness
- Stressful situations and relationships
- Focusing inward due to isolation
- Places that bring back memories of using
Replace old habits with healthy alternatives. This includes having friends and family around for support. Create an emergency contact list containing the information of at least three trustworthy, reliable people who can help during times of trouble. They should be individuals who know you well enough to help identify the potential signs of relapse.
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