1) What Is A Relapse Prevention Plan?
As alcohol and substance abuse is an illness, managing it, similarly to how you would manage any other chronic illness is important for you to remain well. Work with a professional that has been instrumental in your treatment and rehabilitation process to create your relapse prevention plan and ensure that you document it in writing so it is accessible to you and you can review it anytime.
2) Clearly Identify Triggers and Cravings
Make sure that your plan is comprehensive and detailed so that it can be a solid guide for you, complete with tips on how to help you identify your common triggers. If you find that there are certain settings that have traditionally played a role in fueling your illness, then it is best to avoid those settings. If there are certain foods that you are used to having a drink with, perhaps you will need to avoid those foods until you no longer link them to drinking. The same may hold true for people as there are likely certain people that you are used to drinking with or abusing other substances with, and that is far too risky a situation to place yourself in during recovery.
3) Build Replacement Habits
Replacing previous scenarios or people who may have encouraged or contributed to your alcohol or substance abuse and replacing them with positive and uplifting people and activities, will help to keep your recovery on track. These are considered replacement habits and they too play a vital role in your relapse prevention plan.
4) Build A Strong Support Team Around You
A team of family, friends and other people and professionals who have been there for you and participated in your treatment and rehabilitation are also the team that you can turn to if you are ever concerned about a possible relapse. It is important that you reach out to this support network when you need them and don’t try to deal with any difficult feelings that you may have alone.
5) Have An Emergency Contact List
It is also helpful to include an emergency contact list in your relapse prevention plan that includes the names and contact information of at least three people who are reliable and trustworthy to call if you feel you are in trouble and possibly heading for relapse. Ideally, these people are also ones who know you and the process you have been through well enough to help identify any warning signs of possible relapse.