What is the biggest factor in drug relapse planning and prevention?
Answer -having good relapse prevention tools.
Question what is the most important relapse prevention tool?
Answer: make a relapse prevention plan and use it.
Are you aware of the dangers of a drug or alcohol relapse and 3 key concepts that can help prevent it? The answers are revealed further along in this post.
An absolute critical function of being able to live sober for the long run is to avoid the return to drug and alcohol use. I believe you can never learn enough about relapse prevention.
The time spent in learning about drug and alcohol relapse prevention will pay dividends far in the future. There are no dumb relapse prevention questions. If you don’t know the answer, please do the research and find out.
Keep reading and we’ll do our part by presenting three key concepts that can help prevent drug or alcohol relapse.
Concept #1 Maintain Your Awareness Of Your Addiction. Stay Pro-Active In Your Recovery
Complacency sets the stage for more relapses than any other factor. With a lowered level of awareness the door is open for a return of denial. Many people who have relapsed identify complacency as the reason they return to drug or alcohol use. Variations on the statement “I knew what I was supposed to be doing and what it’s doing it and then I stopped.” Are a dime a dozen.
In a way complacency defies all logic. The addict was doing something that was working in a new is working they stopped doing it and then they wondered why they relapsed. Logically it doesn’t make sense, as an addict I get it, 100%
Complacency allows addictive thinking to return. Clinically, we call that the return of denial it is an attitude shift. People have gone to great extremes to realize that they have drug addiction and cannot use anymore. They have accepted it. Now, for some reason those same justifications for drug use come creeping back in the back door. Many describe it as a seductive whisper in their head.
Examples of these drug use inducing thoughts are are “ I’m doing great now, no problem”, “It wasn’t as bad as everyone made out”, “ I’ve been good for so long, I deserve just one”. If denial creeps in, the door is open to rationalizing a return to use, as well as, engaging in risky behaviors. Risky behaviors increase the chance of relapse.
Further Your Relapse Prevention Education With Theses Selected Books:
Concept #2. High-Risk Factors And Triggers. You Need To Identify And Know How To Handle Them.
A trigger or high risk factor for relapse can be anything that was associated with drug or alcohol use and brings back those memories. It can be a person, place or thing, as well as things like rituals, smells or sounds. Some examples might be the smell of stale beer, seeing your dealer, or getting very emotional.
Basically there are 2 types of risk factors,
- Those that can be easily avoided
- Those that cannot be avoided
If a situation is known to be risky and can be avoided, do so. Don’t go into a bar in think you just drink Coca-Cola. Don’t call up your drug dealer just to say hi and see how he was doing. Don’t put yourself in situations with high stress use drugs to chill out.
On the other hand there are situations that cannot be avoided. Learn to set boundaries and limits. Just about every supermarket has a beer and wine aisle, there may be events where alcohol is served and your attendance is required. You may have family members that still use drugs and alcohol In these cases, forethought and planning is needed. This moves into the realm of setting limits and boundaries, topics for another article.
Video Clip on 'Relapse Prevention: Early Warning Signs And Important Coping Skills'
Concept #3. Take The Time To Develop Preventive Strategies Before You Need Them - Have Plans In Place Before The Temptation.
Awareness is an extremely powerful relapse prevention tool. It is suggested to identify situations that can be avoided ahead of time, make a list. For example: it is not a good idea to hang out in a bar drinking soda, or to continue to hang out with people you used to use with. Identify these dangerous situations and plan to minimize exposure to them.
The same planning concept applies to possibly dangerous situations that may be unforeseen or unavoidable. For example: you have to shop for groceries, but can avoid going down the alcohol aisle. You can go to a wedding, perhaps go with a non-drinker, request ginger ale for the toast, etc.Thinking ahead and having plans in place is far superior than trying to react to temptation on-the-fly.
My sponsor used to say to me only 1 million times, “Bill, first thought wrong.” What he was implying is that my first reaction to a situation would probably be wrong. If you take the time to develop choices and alternatives for a situation that you know will occur your chances so making a better decision and living sober are vastly improved.
Relapse prevention recovery to a large extent is about relapse prevention planning and education.
Sitting quietly, ahead of time, when there are no temptations in developing a plan of action that can be utilized when there are temptations is the essence of relapse prevention planning.
We beg you to do yourself a favor in preventing drug relapse and think about making a relapse prevention plan. Become familiar with it and be ready to put it in action at any time.
We would love to have you share your comments with us and our readers. Please leave a comment. The form is way down at the end of this post.
Pinterest - Pin it - Title of article
Some Really Good Free Resources
- Drugs, Brains and Behavior: The Science of Addiction (Drugabuse.gov) – In my opinion this is the best short read on addiction. I have used the content for many therapy groups and lectures…check it out.
- Substance Us In Women Women and men may face unique issues when it comes to substance use, as a result of both sex and gender.