Addiction Treatment

Why You Need An Addiction Relapse Prevention Plan

Written By:

Becky Babb

Why You Need An Addiction Relapse Prevention Plan

Creating a plan with specific steps to prevent a relapse–an episode or series of episodes in which a person returns to using the substance(s) or behavior(s) to which one is addicted–can help tremendously. A relapse prevention plan can be a growth tool for better understanding one’s motivations and challenges which can help a person recognize and respond to early warning signs of relapse more quickly.

The Relapse Prevention Plan

Generally, about two thirds of people attempting recovery for the first time relapse. The key is to step back into sobriety as quickly as possible. Oftentimes, relapse blindsides a person but it is something which can be prepared for with a plan to address the issues which may arise and what to do if it does occur. A good plan maintains the following principles: know yourself, do the work, know what to do in a crisis.

Starting an Addiction Relapse Prevention Plan

Developing an addiction relapse prevention plan is increasingly common within addiction treatment programs and is also used in mutual support and 12-step groups. There is strength in numbers, so professionals advise that individuals create an addiction relapse prevention plan with the support and assistance of others who they trust. Know Yourself: review personal history of use and note any previous relapse(s). Once stable and sober, begin planning by reviewing every stage of life, patterns of use and other compulsive behaviors. How much the individual used, how often ,and what were the consequences? Notice which patterns arise. What was the underlying reason for using at that time-depression, anxiety, relief from boredom? Acknowledge the need for a plan to help stay focused on the ultimate goal: sobriety.Do the Work: realize nobody has the potential for change but the individual. Decide what is best overall including where to stay away from that might trigger use or what people are toxic to have around that are still using or will not support sobriety.Crisis: have awareness of what urges come up when and identify what mental process is happening at that moment. Be honest and try to stay away from old behavioral patterns or ways of thinking. When the desire for a drink or to use occurs, have a phone number ready of a trusted person who knows about your addiction relapse prevention plan to maintain spiritual fitness and to help navigate the challenge without relapse.


Personal awareness is key to sobriety. Understand the warning signs such as feelings of loneliness, irritability, erratic eating and other triggers which might lead to relapse. Build a support network of peers and family to guide through the process and lend a hand. Plan lifestyle changes which include healthy eating, exercise and hobbies which promote overall wellness. Sobriety is a work in progress but with a specific plan in place, it makes relapse less likely and success possible long term.

Relapse Prevention at The Last Resort Recovery

Last Resort offers individuals a program tailored to meet their needs through a 12 step model of recovery. You can begin working on an addiction relapse prevention plan after you go through our substance abuse treatment for men. These programs include:

After going through our full continuum of care at the Last Resort Recovery, you can begin building your support network and designing an addiction relapse prevention plan. In our programs, you’ll meet other men going through similar experiences who can give you advice and support you during your journey. If you’re ready to begin a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life of recovery, then call our admissions team today at (512) 750-6750.

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