Sober living

Relapse Prevention Strategies That Work

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Come up with methods and ways to help yourself be successful – things like setting small attainable goals and rewarding yourself for positive progress. Make a list of things you are thankful for and some of your reasons for remaining sober. Keep this as part of your relapse prevention plan to remind yourself what you are working for and to keep yourself motivated.

  • Identifying triggers makes it easier for people to avoid situations that might lead to drug use.
  • Treatment centers lооk аt еlеmеntѕ thаt соntіnuе tо bе unhеаlthу in thе раtіеnt’ѕ rеlаtіоnѕhірѕ аnd wоrk dіrесtlу on thе реrѕоn’ѕ relapse рrосеѕѕ.
  • Consistent with the broader literature, it can be anticipated that most genetic associations with relapse outcomes will be small in magnitude and potentially difficult to replicate.
  • If one person likes to meditate and walk in the park for stress relief and grounding, those can andshouldbe used for preventing relapse.

Personality, genetic or familial risk factors, drug sensitivity/metabolism and physical withdrawal profiles are examples of distal variables that could influence relapse liability a priori. Tonic processes also include cognitive factors that show relative stability over time, such as drug-related outcome expectancies, global self-efficacy, and personal beliefs about abstinence or relapse. Whereas tonic processes may dictate initial susceptibility to relapse, its occurrence is determined largely by phasic responses–proximal or transient factors that serve to actuate a lapse.

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Therefore, helping patients maintain an awareness that they are vulnerable to relapses of their substance use disorder is an important element of relapse prevention. In the past 25 years, a new class of psychoactive medications has emerged that show substantial promise in the treatment of addiction disorders. These “anticraving” medications reduce desire for the drug or alcohol in detoxified patients and deter relapse into compulsive substance abuse. In addition to establishing a relapse prevention plan, individuals with a substance use disorder should have a treatment plan in place.

It’s even a good idea for clients to share their relapse prevention strategies with their loved ones to get additional assistance. In collaboration with the individual, document their potential triggers, early warning signs and coping skills on a relapse prevention plan. This plan should reflect what you have discussed together and worded in a manner that is easy for the individual to understand. Writing it down so that they can take it home and easily access it will increase the likelihood that they will use the plan should they need it. Numerous studies have shown that mind-body relaxation reduces the use of drugs and alcohol and is effective in long-term relapse prevention .

Specific Relapse Prevention Strategies That Work

It helps them to know that there is usually only a small percent of their lives that needs to be It can also be assuring to know that most people have the same problems and need to make similar changes. They think it is almost embarrassing to talk about the basics of recovery. They are embarrassed to mention that they still have occasional cravings or that they are no longer sure if they had an addiction.


Although there are some triggers that many people experience, individuals might experience very specific triggers that are unique to them. Eat a well-balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Following these healthy habits will help you feel better and more in control of your life.

Rule 1: Change Your Life

Friends and family members of individuals in recovery should also have a plan in place. They can offer support, love and understanding to a loved one in recovery without becoming overbearing and judgmental. Try not to “babysit” someone in recovery during the party, instead, try to make the situation safe from temptation. An individual in recovery is in an especially delicate situation during a holiday where alcohol is often present. Identifying parties and get togethers may be a temptation situation is the first step to preventing a relapse. From community recovery meetings to religious organizations to family groups, there are meetings all over the world.

It was clear that although treatment seemed to work at least temporarily, a substantial percentage of patients would relapse over time. One of the most important components of addiction recovery is ensuring that you have the tools to manage your health and addiction long-term. During this program, you’ll learn strategies and tools to help you stay on the right course while also learning what to do if you waiver.

First: What It Means to Relapse

Think of the consequences that would occur if you used vs. if you did not use. This can help with your decision making and relapse prevention the risk of relapse. Deep breathing releases neurotransmitters in your brain, many of which trigger feel-good chemicals resulting in relaxation, happiness, and pain reduction. Deep breathing, and the resulting increased oxygen flow, also encourages your body to exhale toxins. Take four deep breaths in through your nose and hold, then release for four seconds.


It can be helpful to write down one’s daily activities by tracking them with a smartphone to bring more awareness to what you are doing, thinking, and feeling. This can lead to tremendous insight and empowerment over cravings. Get professional help from an addiction and mental health counselor from BetterHelp via phone, video, or live-chat. One day at a time, means you should match your goals to your emotional strength.

If they are treated and have some moderate symptoms they would be in partial remission. In either case if they go from this improved state to being roughly as symptomatic as they were before treatment, they are described as having relapsed. A lapse would represent a partial or brief return of some symptoms.

What are the 5 determinants of relapse?

  • Motivation.
  • Mental Strength.
  • Family & Relationships.
  • Anxiety & Depression.