Relapse Prevention Plan and Early Warning Signs
Tell someone you trust, who supports your recovery that you’re having urges to use. Sometimes talking about it can make the stressors seem more manageable. Once an individual physically starts to use alcohol and drugs again and need detox and rehab again, to recover.
What are relapse prevention techniques psychology?
The RP techniques include helping patients recognize their high-risk situations, rehearse strategies for dealing with those situations, self-monitor substance use and deal with cravings–including externalizing them and "surfing" the wave of the urge.
A relapse prevention plan provides a workable blueprint that can help someone new in recovery from veering off-track. This can be a written document, a workbook, or a verbal plan that was developed while still in treatment. Steps to take to protect recovery might include distractions, such as hitting the gym or going for a hike. There are umpteen actionable steps to include in the plan to ward off a relapse.
Adults: Clinical Formulation & Treatment
For example, if going through a breakup could lead to a relapse, think of other outlets for your pain and frustration. Instead of drinking or using, plan to attend a support meeting or call a family member or close friend right away. The more specific your action plan is, the better, as this means you will be less likely to come within close reach of a relapse. Although withdrawal is usually viewed as a physiological process, recent theory emphasizes the importance of behavioral withdrawal processes .
The dynamic model further emphasizes the importance of nonlinear relationships and timing/sequencing of events. For instance, in a high-risk context, a slight and momentary drop in self-efficacy could have a disproportionate impact on other relapse antecedents . Furthermore, the strength of proximal influences on relapse may vary based on distal risk factors, with these relationships becoming increasingly nonlinear as distal risk increases . For example, one could imagine a situation whereby a client who is relatively committed to abstinence from alcohol encounters a neighbor who invites the client into his home for a drink.
Empirical findings relevant to the RP model
Remind yourself of the negative consequences you’ve already suffered, and the potential consequences that lie around the corner if you relapse again. If you could control your use, you would have done it by now. Despite its importance, self-care is one of the most overlooked aspects of recovery.
- Then, the patient and clinician work to develop strategies, including cognitive and behavioral , to address those specific high-risk situations.
- This reaction, termed the Abstinence Violation Effect (AVE; ), is considered more likely when one holds a dichotomous view of relapse and/or neglects to consider situational explanations for lapsing.
- In other words, relapses are reinterpreted as opportunities for learning and improving coping skills.
- Staying busy is a common element of successful recoveries and aftercare programs.
- The individuals coping skills, motivation, and support system.
This is why deep breathing is so essential with one’s mental health. The core concept of mindfulness is paying attention, awareness, or focus on what you’re doing, where you are, who you’re with, and more. To start the process of becoming more mindful, simply notice what you are doing with no judgement. It can be helpful to write down one’s daily activities by tracking them with a smartphone to bring more awareness to what you are doing, thinking, and feeling. This can lead to tremendous insight and empowerment over cravings.
Genetic influences on treatment response and relapse
This technique is simply playing through what is likely to happen should you drink or use drugs again, particularly when you are tempted. Imagine short- and long-term consequences for drinking or using drugs again. By playing the tape through, you have better information to make a better decision. Outpatient programs allow you to go about your daily life and commitments but still offer reaffirmation of all the techniques and strategies from full-time inpatient treatment. Staying busy is a common element of successful recoveries and aftercare programs. A few positive ways to occupy time include taking up a hobby, volunteering and spending time with sober friends and family members.
A crucial step in relapse prevention training is to help the individual practice strategies and coping skills so that they are confident they can use them effectively the next time they experience a trigger or early warning sign. If a lapse or relapse occurs, the patient should be encouraged and guided by the clinician to explore the relapse itself and the circumstances surrounding it, including any early warning signs of relapse. This knowledge can then be used as a learning experience toward improved understanding and skills for relapse prevention in the future. With relapse, patients may benefit from stepping up the level of treatment they receive for SUDs; for example, a patient in an outpatient aftercare program can be transitioned to an intensive outpatient program .