The Top 10 Relapse Prevention Skills


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The more critical factor to consider is the safety of you or your loved one if the relapse has progressed to the point of dangerous levels of drugs or alcohol in the system. The goal is to never fall into relapse, but that is not the reality when entering the recovery process. Bedrock Recovery Center deploys an individualized approach that treats the underlying causes of addiction by placing our patients needs first. Located near the historical Boston metropolitan area in Massachusetts, our mission is to help individuals seeking treatment from substance abuse from all over the country. For some, the beginning of the recovery process is the hardest part, while for others, urges to return to drugs or alcohol can become strongest months or years into sobriety. Self-care is a demonstration to yourself that you value your well-being.

  • If you understand post-acute withdrawal it’s easier to avoid relapse, because the early stage of relapse is easiest to pull back from.
  • Outpatient programs allow you to go about your daily life and commitments but still offer reaffirmation of all the techniques and strategies from full-time inpatient treatment.
  • Another key strategy for relapse prevention is coming up with a plan.
  • If we cannot find the benefit or reward, it’s time to look at a new response or routine.
  • Anything that helps us healthfully manage and process our emotions is a great inclusion in a relapse prevention plan.
  • Try to brainstorm a list of scenarios that could lead to potential relapse and list thewarning signs of relapse.

At other times, they may be external, such as when you run into an old drinking buddy or are offered your drug of choice. You can be triggered by a person, place, or even a smell. Triggers may cause you to crave drugs or alcohol immediately. Less obviously, they may lead to negative emotions that eventually cause you to consider using substances. The first step in preventing relapse is being truthful with yourself about your triggers and ways to avoid them. This may mean staying away from restaurants with bars, avoiding certain areas of town, or even ending friendships.

Why Relapse Prevention Fails

When non-addicts do not develop healthy life skills, the consequence is that they may be unhappy in life. When recovering individuals do not develop healthy life skills, the consequence is that they also may be unhappy in life, but that can lead to relapse. Occasional, brief thoughts of using are normal in early recovery and are different from mental relapse. They feel they are doing something wrong and that they have let themselves and their families down. They are sometimes reluctant to even mention thoughts of using because they are so embarrassed by them. When an urge comes, it can be difficult to manage it, especially in the beginning of recovery. A very helpful relapse prevention skill is making a list of healthy family members or friends who are also in recovery that you can call for support.

Relapse Prevention Skills in Recovery is a subsidiary of AAC, a nationwide provider ofaddiction treatment services. Changing your lifestyle as much as possible to help you avoid high-risk situations such as going to bars or being around people who use drugs. Yet, preventing a relapse isn’t always possible, regardless of the treatment you received and techniques you applied. But know that you’re not alone; relapse may occur once or several times following treatment. When they do occur, additional treatment measures should be considered. It’s difficult and even impossible to prevent some things from happening. Being sober and avoiding relapse means having to make the hard calls.


But, it is necessary to have skills to cope with difficult times that are a part of life. Relapse prevention tools will help you lead a happy life in recovery and reduce the chance of relapse. Treatment programs will teach you a range of strategies to control relapse triggers, but we don’t always have access to treatment centers for help. Mind-body relaxation plays a number of roles in recovery . First, stress and tension are common triggers of relapse. Second, mind-body relaxation helps individuals let go of negative thinking such as dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, which are triggers for relapse. Third, mind-body relaxation is a way of being kind to oneself.

  • This can lead to tremendous insight and empowerment over cravings.
  • Denied users will not or cannot fully acknowledge the extent of their addiction.
  • To those who have never struggled with substance abuse, this might not seem to make sense.
  • In this page you will learn how to use specific relapse prevention techniques for each stage of relapse.
  • Recovery from SUD is a journey of personal growth, learning and developing skills to cope with the risk of relapse that comes at any stage of recovery.

The most common and recurring triggers for many recovering alcoholics and addicts are hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness. By keeping a regular check on HALT, one Relapse Prevention Skills in Recovery can help prevent the risk of emotional relapse. There is a risk of relapsing at any stage of recovery, making relapse prevention skills highly essential to know.

Identify Personal Triggers

Clinical experience has shown that everyone in early recovery is a denied user. The goal is to help individuals move from denied users to non-users. A missing piece of the puzzle for many clients is understanding the difference between selfishness and self-care. Clinical experience has shown that addicted individuals typically take less than they need, and, as a result, they become exhausted or resentful and turn to their addiction to relax or escape. Part of challenging addictive thinking is to encourage clients to see that they cannot be good to others if they are first not good to themselves. Probably the most common misinterpretation of complete honesty is when individuals feel they must be honest about what is wrong with other people.

  • Rather than facing this in fear, it should be used as a push to stay vigilant and watchful for early warning signs.
  • Following are some of the best methods for developing great relapse prevention strategies for your recovery.
  • The second stage of recovery focuses on repairing damage caused by addiction and substance abuse.
  • This way, we can create grounding rituals and coping routines for each of our stressors and triggers.

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.

What Is the Best Way To Learn Relapse Prevention Skills?

It is a common experience that airports and all-inclusive resorts are high-risk environments in early recovery. Another form of bargaining is when people start to think that they can relapse periodically, perhaps in a controlled way, for example, once or twice a year. Bargaining also can take the form of switching one addictive substance for another.

Relapse Prevention Skills in Recovery