A Relapse Prevention Plan is strongly advocated by First Step To Freedom in every addiction recovery plan and here is why.

Relapse prevention is an important part in staying clean and sober.

It’s the foundation of addiction recovery, to help recognize all the triggers and weakness that led to using in the first place. To have a better understanding and knowledge of your own triggers and weaknesses as well as understanding the disease of addiction and alcoholism is the start to building a relapse prevention plan.

Restoring their life should be something every addict wants and is willing to fight for. It’s hard work that takes time and strength every day. Relapse starts well before picking up the first drink or drug and in the rooms of NA and AA some say that subconsciously every relapse is pre-planned. I usually starts with behaviors and unhealthy thought processes and can happen quickly. Relapse triggers can be people, places, or routines from your lifestyle of addiction that cause a mental thought process (people in recovery call it “stinking thinking”) that puts the person in recovery right back on the fast lane to drinking or using again and it can happen very quickly. Even smells, music or emotions can be triggers.

The objective, and it works, is to identify them immediately and use the learned tools and support from fellow alcoholics or addicts and a sponsor to intervene and stop the slippery slope to relapse. This is why recovering addicts should always have a relapse prevention plan. It’s not just about the use of drugs or alcohol, but behaviors, thoughts and old habits that could trigger a person in recovery into picking up and using again.

Preventing relapse includes many tools and life adjustments. Avoiding negative reactions to stress and learning to cope with events that cause crisis and panic and the ability to resolve them. Spirituality is a factor in dealing with life in a healthy manner along with therapy and support from friends who are well into recovery. Dealing with a variety of feelings in a mature and calm way that would in the past cause emotional overload is another aspect of relapse prevention. A healthy diet, ability to get the sleep your body and mind need are key to sobriety as well. In aftercare it is important to attend support meetings and talk frequently with people who have years of sobriety, learn from them and lean on them. It’s comforting to many in addiction recovery to discover how loving and supportive people are in AA and NA groups.