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What Does Risk Analysis in Recovery Look Like?

When you’re first in recovery, you might need to change your old patterns to maintain your sobriety. That doesn’t mean giving up everything from your old life, though. You can use risk analysis to help determine when, where, and how you will engage with people and places.

Understanding Risk Analysis in Recovery

Risk analysis in recovery is the process of assessing the likelihood of negative events occurring that could impact your recovery. It also involves identifying potential triggers or factors in any situation that could cause you to relapse. You’ll need to use your foresight and the dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skill called coping ahead to engage in risk analysis and management.

During risk analysis, you should think about your knowledge of the people and places you will encounter and make a plan. Will that person threaten your sobriety? Do you think they will pressure you to drink? What about the environment? Is substance use built into the place (e.g., a bar or a sports event)? These are the kind of questions you need to ask yourself.

Additionally, you can reach out to an alumni group for help with risk analysis. They may offer you a perspective you hadn’t previously considered. Due to their experiences, they can caution you about mistakes they made early in recovery.

Practicing Coping Ahead

Once you answer these questions, you should use DBT skills. Using cope ahead, you should decide how you will handle the situations and triggers as they arise.

Will you remove yourself from the situation? What will you say? Once you decide, visualize the scenario, and you excusing yourself from the environment. Will you simply turn down a drink? Will you ask to move away from the bar? Once again, decide what you will say and practice it. Imagine yourself having that conversation and implementing your coping plan. As you practice coping ahead, you’ll feel more confident about your abilities.

Changing the Plan

If you find yourself completely unable to engage with certain environments or people this early in recovery, it’s okay to request a change in plans. You can propose an alternative location that people could all enjoy together. If you can’t be around a person, you can propose seeing others separately. Unfortunately, this may mean missing family events or social gatherings. However, your sobriety must come first if you hope to have a life in long-term recovery.

In early recovery, risk analysis can evaluate whether social and familial events will threaten your sobriety. Coping ahead can help you navigate the potential issues in those situations. By combining these strategies, you can decide where, when, and how you will engage with people and environments. If you need extra support, The Guest House can provide you with different therapy modalities and a robust alumni community. Our programs are set up for long-term success in recovery. You can live a healthier life. Reach out to us at (855) 483-7800 to learn more.