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Adjusting Your Relapse Prevention Plan When the Original Isn’t Working

One of the most important parts of your recovery journey is your relapse prevention plan. During treatment, you learned to build a successful plan incorporating your triggers and warning signs. As you grow in your recovery, however, your needs and wants may have changed. At this point, an updated, in-depth plan could be the difference between relapse and not.

In this blog, we will explore how to know when your relapse prevention plan needs adjusting, discuss aftercare options at The Guest House, and cover how to ensure that you stay on the path of recovery.

Three Stages of Relapse

Recovery is not a one-and-done deal. It takes an immense amount of effort to maintain sobriety and grow as a sober person. It takes time to build trust within yourself. The fact that you are thinking about adjusting your relapse prevention plan shows that you are aware that a change needs to occur. Recognizing when you need to adjust your relapse prevention plan can be the difference between life and death in recovery.

Despite what some may say, a relapse occurs in three stages:

#1. Emotional Relapse

During this stage, you are not thinking about using. However, your behaviors are setting you up for a potential relapse through not attending counseling or a meeting, isolation, and lack of honesty with yourself and others.

#2. Mental Relapse

In this stage, you are having an internal war with yourself. Part of you wants to use, and the other part of you does not. You are thinking about people, places, and things that you associate with using. Perhaps you are only focusing on the positives and are bargaining with yourself. In this stage, planning starts to take place on how you can use a substance again.

#3. Physical Relapse

This is where you start to use again. All it takes is one time, and a domino effect occurs.

Building Your Relapse Prevention Plan

Adjusting your relapse prevention plan can be as simple as identifying new triggers that you were not aware existed until you were in a different environment. Recovery can be hard to navigate and you will learn how to maintain your timing and tailor it to your needs. Below are some ideas for building your revised relapse prevention plan:

Determine Your Triggers

Be aware of your triggers so you can avoid them until you can work through the feelings associated with them.

Know Your Reasons for Quitting and Keep Them Handy

This is to remind you of your “why.” For example, you may remember what sickness felt like or how out of control you were. Keep your “why” close so that you can remember the not-so-pleasant things about your addictive behavior when triggers occur.

Positive Support

Ask for help when you need it. Memorize the numbers to call just in case you do not have your phone when you are triggered. Utilize your positive support network to receive encouragement.

Individual Counseling

A counselor can help with navigating difficult moments in your recovery. An objective point of view can work wonders when you are seeking the truth.

Take Care of Yourself

If you do not take care of your needs, who else will do that for you? Look for healthy ways to reward yourself. For example, a self-care routine can help you acknowledge that recovery can be difficult and that you are doing the best you can.

Find an Alumni Program

Sometimes all you need are people who understand the recovery process and can support your journey. The Guest House has an amazing alumni program that is filled with people who can support this part of your journey. You can participate as little or as much as you want with no obligation.

Changes in My Relapse Prevention Plan

People change daily. You are not the same version of yourself today that you were the day you entered treatment. Therefore, your relapse prevention plan will change too. You may find yourself being triggered by something that you never thought would be bothersome. This is completely fine and should raise some questions if you’ve never adjusted your relapse prevention plan.

Just as you grow in your treatment, your triggers will change and you may be ready for new challenges. It has been said time and time again that recovery is a journey, not a destination. Your recovery is tailored to your unique life path.

Tricks to Help You Stay on Track

Know that your triggers are warning signs to alert you of possible danger. During recovery, you acknowledged what causes stress in your life. Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to learn how to manage your stress in a positive way.

Think about healthy coping skills that have worked for you in the past. For example, yoga and meditation help to calm the nervous system. The Guest House offers an array of resources that could provide your next healthy coping skill to help you manage your recovery.

Acknowledging that you need to adjust your relapse prevention plan is a step in the right direction. This is a time of growth in recovery and your roadmap can be easily adjusted. Focusing on what brings you peace in your recovery journey will create motivation to readjust your relapse prevention plan. At The Guest House, we understand that an adjustment needs to be made every so often in your relapse prevention plan. With growth comes revision, and we are here to accompany you in that process. If you or someone you know are struggling with revising a relapse prevention plan, please give us a call today at (855) 483-7800. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.