Relapse Prevention: 5 Simple Ways to Prevent Relapse
Relapse occurs when an individual returns to substance abuse after drug or alcohol recovery. Read on to learn more about addiction relapse.
Table of Contents
What is Relapse?
Relapse happens when a person stops maintaining the goal of discontinuing alcohol or other substances intake. It also defines a state where the individual returns to previous behavioral patterns after treatment.
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How Common is Drug Relapse?
In a 2014 survey, reports showed 21.5 million Americans above 12 years had substance use disorder in the previous year. This statistic corresponds to one in twelve people. Another study shows that 40 to 60 percent of people relapse within 30 days of treatment. The statistics also show that 85 percent of people relapse within the first year.1
What is Relapse Prevention?
Stages of Relapse
- Emotional Relapse: During an emotional relapse, the individual doesn’t necessarily want to begin the intake of substances or alcohol. Instead, the person starts to neglect self-care. Such individuals may begin to keep to themselves, isolate themselves from others, experience insomnia, and have a poor diet.
- Mental Relapse: Mental relapse is one of the most difficult stages, as it usually seems like an individual is at war with their mind. During this stage, the person craves drugs and alcohol and may lie to themselves that there are no consequences.
- Physical Relapse: At this stage, the intake of substances or alcohol is seemingly uncontrollable. Once an individual experiences physical relapse, it signifies total relapse.
Why are Relapse Prevention Skills Important?
Most Common Triggers of Relapse
Some of the most common triggers of relapse include:
- Money problems
- Relationship issues
- Falling into old habits
5 Simple Ways to Prevent Relapse
Preventing relapse doesn’t always need to be difficult. With the right support from loved ones and recovery centers, you can avoid triggers of relapse. Some simple ways that may help your journey will be detailed below.
Understanding How Abuse Develops
Individuals don’t need to try recovering all by themselves, and it’s important to get support to make the process of preventing relapse much easier. A reputable addiction treatment center can teach how to cope and deal with negative thoughts or cravings.
Examine Risk Factors
Steps to Creating a Relapse Prevention Plan
Here are some steps that may help in creating a suitable alcohol relapse prevention plan:
- Assess Your History with Drugs and Alcohol
- Determine Any Signs that Could Lead to Relapse
- Establish an Action Plan
Once an individual can take those steps, they are ahead in creating a suitable alcohol relapse prevention plan or a drug relapse prevention plan.3
What to Include in a Relapse Prevention Plan?
When creating an alcohol relapse prevention plan or any other similar relapse plan, try keeping the following in mind:
- Triggers: Highlight the major triggers that may cause relapse in your relapse plan.
- Manage Cravings: Provide a detailed breakdown of steps to take in managing cravings.
- Preventative Tools: Look out for preventative tools that can help create a distraction from drug intake and relapse. Examples of the tools imperative in relapse prevention include journaling, attending a support meeting, or writing a gratitude list.
- Support Groups and Programs: Support groups will help you know you’re not alone and provide helpful information for recovery.
- Lifestyle Changes: Some changes may include better exercise, improved sleep patterns, and building positive support networks.
Creating a Relapse Prevention Plan
When creating a relapse prevention plan for substance abuse, it’s helpful to:
Assess History with Drugs and Alcohol
- Why did I previously relapse?
- Was there a specific period where I was more prone to substance use disorder?
- What are the thought patterns that increase the chances of substance abuse?
- Were there specific people that increased the chances of relapse?
Determine Relapse Signs
It’s helpful to take some time out to brainstorm a list of scenarios and warning signs that may cause relapse. Certain people may begin to think or act differently when they are about to relapse. Creating and sharing this list of signs with the treatment center will provide the necessary information to prevent relapse.
Establish the Actions to Take to Avoid Using
In relapse prevention, give a detailed breakdown of the actions to take when you notice the warning signs. For instance, an individual can plan to attend a support meeting or speak to a family member when cravings occur.
Relapse Prevention Models
Gorski-Cenaps Relapse Prevention Model
- Coping skills
Marlatt’s Model of Relapse Prevention
Marlatt’s relapse prevention model highlights how phasic (short-loved) and tonic (stable) influences interact to evaluate the possibility of a relapse. Tonic signifies how susceptible an individual is to relapse, while phasic responses serve as factors that may cause or prevent relapse.4
Support Group for Relapse Prevention
Get the Support You Need to Prevent Relapse at Profound Treatment
The fear of relapse can be severe to many, which causes a change in daily activities and an increased level of stress. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult with the available relapse prevention strategies Profound Treatment offers. You are not alone in this journey. Get help today in developing and following through with a suitable relapse prevention plan!