Men in a group discussing relapse prevention techniquesWhen your rehab program ends, what comes next? You might feel excited about this next phase of your life, without drug or alcohol dependency. It’s common to feel some anxiety as well. Even when someone has the best of intentions for his or her recovery, relapse sometimes happens. Having a relapse prevention plan can help you avoid this all-too-common pitfall for people in recovery.

Why Relapse Happens

No one comes out of rehab wanting to fall back into addiction.

You might have made big changes in order to avoid the possibility of relapse as much as possible. Perhaps you’ve cut toxic people out of your life. You’ve stopped going to certain bars and restaurants.

Even with all the positive changes you’ve made, temptation still happens. Everyone has unique triggers and stressors. You may get triggered despite all your efforts to avoid them.

What happens if you receive devastating news about a family member? What if you lose your job?

It doesn’t even have to be a negative event. You might attend a birthday party where everyone toasts the honoree. What do you do? Do you have a glass of champagne along with everybody else? Or, do you feel like the party pooper who asks for a glass of ginger ale instead?

Recovery must be maintained for the rest of your life. You’ll have to deal with a variety of situations that test your resolve. How can a relapse prevention plan help you no matter which obstacles to recovery you face?

Creating a Relapse Prevention Plan

Your rehab facility may help you devise a plan that fits your particular lifestyle and challenges. Your plan might look very different from someone else’s, and that’s okay. The important thing is that your plan works for you.

What does relapse prevention involve?

  • A support system – You’ll need a support network. This could be family, friends, or peer groups. Some people will rely on regular AA or NA meetings, while others have supportive family members who’ll work hard to help keep them on the right track.
  • Plans to meet challenges – At some point, you’ll face a challenging situation. It could be an old acquaintance encouraging you to use, or a particularly stressful day at work that leaves you frustrated and angry. Plan in advance how you’ll handle these tough times instead of waiting for them to happen and then reacting.
  • Stress relievers – Maybe you abused alcohol because you had no other coping mechanisms to handle stress. In rehab, you learned about productive ways to manage stress. Now, you meditate, exercise, practice yoga, or simply talk it out with a trusted confidante. Choose whichever stress-relieving tactic works best for you and then use it regularly.
  • An emergency plan – You’ll very likely have cravings. They may surprise you, especially if they pop up suddenly months, or even years, into recovery. Have an emergency backup plan in place. This could be as simple as calling someone in your support group no matter the hour or as involved as checking yourself back into rehab.

Write your relapse prevention plan down on paper. Post it someplace prominent, where you’ll see it every day. It’ll serve as a great reminder of how far you’ve come.

Finding Hope in Recovery

Ocean Recovery is a treatment center ready to partner with you as you reach your recovery goals. We’re located in Newport Beach, California, so you’ll enjoy a safe, relaxing environment with the gorgeous Pacific Ocean as your backdrop.

Our unique men’s and women’s inpatient rehab programs include:

We work to treat substance dependency as well as eating disorders and other co-occurring disorders. The goal of our treatment center is your complete healing—physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Our clients are encouraged to openly express themselves as well as take part in various activities that promote connection and healing.

You can break free of drug or alcohol dependency, starting today. With help from our caring, compassionate team of professionals, you’ll discover what makes a healthy life so fulfilling. Call us at 800-641-2388, and get ready to begin your recovery.