How to Develop an Effective Relapse Prevention Plan

Relapse can be broken down into 3 main phases: emotional (hiding emotions or avoiding friends/family), mental (fantasizing or craving a substance), and lastly, physical (partaking in the substance). To help prevent relapse, many professionals recommend that recovering addicts create their own relapse prevention plan. A relapse prevention plan is a written plan that helps you recognize the signs of relapse, avoid triggers, and prevent a return to chronic substance abuse. 

Creating Your Own Plan

When creating your own relapse prevention plan, there are a few important things to keep in mind to ensure the plan is effective and thorough. First, you need to know what could potentially trigger you. These triggers are often tied to specific locations or people. 

When you think about them or see them, it can cause you to feel emotionally distressed and fall victim to the emotional side of a relapse. After identifying these triggers, it is helpful to list out the feelings associated with them so you can recognize and properly deal with them if they occur. 

Most importantly, keep a positive mindset and headspace. Let your mind be your safe place from any potential triggers or upsets that could cause you to spiral- surround yourself with people who you trust to help you along the way. 

It also helps to set goals for achieving a healthy lifestyle so you can celebrate the milestones along the way. Finding new hobbies such as meditation, exercising, or art can aid in stress management and reinforce your sense of self-worth and value. Once your relapse prevention plan is developed, revisions along the way are expected and necessary in maintaining your growth.

American Treatment Network Is Here to Help

If you do end up experiencing a relapse, it is not the end of your recovery. It is common for addicts to relapse at least once on their journey to recovery, and there is no shame in that. There are plenty of options and resources available to assist those looking to better their situation and American Treatment Network is here to help. 

In Havertown, PA, we offer mental health treatments, substance abuse treatments, and medication-assisted treatments to help you get on the road to recovery. So, if you think you or someone you know needs immediate assistance, please give us a call and get started on taking your life back today.


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