Many people falsely believe that completing an addiction treatment program is the final step in recovery, when in fact, it is the first step toward a lifetime journey. Following successful addiction treatment, you need to be prepared to face the challenges of daily life without resorting to old patterns of behavior. An effective addiction treatment program will include relapse prevention therapy. Along with other addiction treatment therapies, group therapy is a core component of relapse prevention. A strong support network is critical to maintaining sobriety. An aftercare program provides the peer and community support needed for lasting recovery.
At Insight Recovery Centers, we know that relapse prevention therapy, an individualized relapse prevention plan, and an aftercare program are essential to the recovery process. To learn more about relapse prevention, contact us at 703.592.6946.
Can a Relapse Prevention Plan Prevent Relapse?
Relapse is a part of the recovery process for many, especially within the first year of sobriety. Relapse rates vary according to the drug of choice, stage of disease, and dual diagnoses. Studies show that relapse rates across all substance use disorders are between 40-60%, with opioids and alcohol having the highest relapse rates. Here are some common forms relapse can take:
- Emotional relapse – A person is not yet thinking about using alcohol or drugs but has begun to engage in behaviors that could lead to relapses, such as isolating, bottling up feelings, and not relying on support networks or coping skills.
- Mental Relapse – A person starts to romanticize the times they were using without remembering the negative consequences. They may reach out to old friends or revisit places where they used to use. They experience cravings and fantasize about using.
- Physical Relapse – A person has actively used their drug of choice.
By acknowledging the possibility of relapse, watching for the warning signs, and following a relapse prevention plan, it is possible to safeguard against relapse. Being aware of potential triggers for relapse is crucial because there is a significant risk for overdose or death, especially with alcohol or opioids. When triggers arise, it is best to rely upon others in group therapy or the sober community for support.
Components of a Strong Relapse Prevention Plan
A relapse prevention plan is a written plan created with your treatment team before leaving an addiction treatment program. The plan is designed to help you remember to rely on new coping strategies, identify and avoid triggers, recognize the warning signs of relapse, and prevent a return to substance use. A relapse prevention plan should be a flexible document that can evolve as you progress in recovery.
Relapse prevention plans should meet individual needs and circumstances. However, a strong plan should include a few crucial components, including:
- Goals for maintaining a healthy lifestyle
- A list of reasons you sought treatment
- A schedule for 12-step meetings and other community supports
- Time for mindfulness and self-assessment
- A plan for dealing with cravings and triggers
- Sober support network contact information
- Others who know your plan
At Insight Recovery Centers, we know that you cannot prevent the stresses of daily life, but you can develop healthy coping mechanisms that can help prevent relapse. Particularly in the early stages of recovery, a strong relapse prevention plan is an essential tool.
Learn More About Relapse Prevention and Aftercare at Insight Recovery Centers
Our aftercare programs and community-based treatment centers support you or your loved one following successful addiction treatment. To learn more about relapse prevention and creating an effective relapse prevention plan, reach out to the team at Insight Recovery Centers. Call us at 703.592.6946 to learn more about how we can help you.