Relapse Prevention Plan

Relapse Prevention Plan

Relapse is a common side effect of initial recovery. You want to get better and not give in to these triggers to drugs you are experiencing, but you go back to bad habits because you do not know how to control these triggers. It is important to come up with a plan on what to do when you face the three stages of relapse so that it never happens again.

Emotional Relapse

Emotional relapse is when you may not be thinking about using, but your emotions are getting the best of you. You may be feeling anxiety, anger, isolation, and mood swings. This can make you not want to ask for help if you are experiencing withdrawal or showing up to 12 step meetings. If you are not taking better care of yourself, it means that your eating and sleeping habits are suffering. This stage will occur before a person is even aware that they are in danger of relapse. Luckily, this is an early stage of relapse which will make it easier to climb back from. 

Mental Relapse

In mental relapse, you feel like you are constantly debating yourself. There is a part of you that wants to go back to your drug use, but another part of you knows how important it is to continue with recovery. Earlier in this phase, you are just thinking lightly about using. Later in this phase, you would be thinking much harder about using. You go back to the memories you had of the places you were using at and the friends you were with all in a glamorized matter. This can lead to you lying to others about how you are feeling during your recovery and planning your relapse when you know everyone else will be busy. As the temptation gets stronger, making the right choices will become even harder.

Physical Relapse

If you do not do anything to prevent relapse from occurring, this is when the physical phase occurs. This is the stage where you start making efforts to go back to bad habits like driving to your dealer. You may just be thinking that you are only using just this once to make yourself feel better. The truth is that it only takes one time to break your sobriety and have multiple moments after that where you use. Once you enter this stage, you need to go back into treatment as soon as possible.

Relapse Triggers

Drugs were a way for you to escape all of your negative emotions. For example, drugs may have been there for you whenever you needed to relax. You could also be thinking about the people and places that you have a habit of visiting back when you continued using. Since these people and places were such a big part of your life, you may not be ready to give them up. You could also be living in an area where you are constantly surrounded by drugs or alcohol and it is too hard to look away. Even when you celebrate, you are used to substance abuse as a way to enjoy yourself. The most important thing to think about when you are experiencing these triggers is that while these drugs may have made you feel good in the short-term, these drugs have a way of ruining your life in the long-term.

What To Do for Relapse Prevention

First, start recognizing certain behaviors about yourself. Recognize how you are isolating yourself and need to seek help as well as your anxiety, eating, and sleeping habits. Not changing your behavior will leave you emotionally drained which will make you want to find an escape in drugs or alcohol. Take better care of yourself by thinking about why you use in the first place. If you took better care of yourself, you would not feel any need to use drugs or alcohol to help you feel better. 

Think really hard about the fantasy you have when you get these mental urges. You normally follow through with them, abuse drugs or alcohol, and then you feel terrible about it later. Keep thinking about all of the times you have followed through your mental urges and how you have felt after. You may have thought that since you have gotten away with lying about your addiction in the past, no one will know about your relapse. You will follow through with your recovery if you think about all of the negative things that have happened to you before. Whenever you have an urge to use, call a friend or a sponsor to talk you down and help you no longer feel alone. You can also go to a meeting, knit, color or do anything else that will occupy your time. After half an hour of occupying yourself with healthy activities, the mental urge will be gone.

Most importantly, it is important to make changes to your routine. This means cleaning your house of any drugs or alcohol in any rooms you have them as well as hiding places that you keep them. Delete the numbers of your friends who use drugs on your phone as well as drug dealers. Avoid visiting bars or hanging around where drug dealers go. By speaking to someone about your stressors and any negative feelings you are experiencing, you will have an easier recovery knowing you do not have an urge to use.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


intensive outpatient program

5 Reasons To Stay Out Of A Relationship In Early Recovery

Emotions run high in early recovery and many people seek comfort through a relationship. Here are our top five reasons to stay out of a relationship in early recovery.

  1. No Harm Will Come To You If You Don’t Date: Loneliness is not an ideal prospect. Falling in love can feel good- really good, but it can also be a distraction. Though you might feel lonely, longing for attention, and cravings for physical intimacy, living without those things won’t cause you any damage. They are manageable triggers that don’t include the overwhelming stimulus of another person. You can live without it, the same way you’re learning to live without drugs and alcohol.
  2. Harm Might Come To You If You Do: Unfortunately, you’re at greater risk for desperation in a relationship than you are out of one. People are complicated and so is love. In early recovery, you’re sensitive and not completely in touch with your feelings yet. Dating another person in early recovery, or anyone, can bring up stuff you aren’t ready to work on, put you in tough situations, or, in the event of a break up, cause inconsolable heartbreak. Sadly, many people relapse and overdose because of their inability to cope with rejection, abandonment, and codependency which comes from a break up.
  3. You’re Just Getting To Know Yourself: Being in a relationship is about more than being in a relationship. Romantic partnerships are about meeting someone else’s needs and your needs in a healthy way. Most people in early recovery are only just beginning to discover what their needs are. You’ve just started the journey of getting to know yourself and how you work as a person. Trying to balance that with a whole other person and all of their ‘stuff’ can be really hard to do.
  4. You’ve Had Abusive Relationships In The Past: If you've had abusive relationships in the past and are in early recovery, you might miss the signs of an abuser. Repeating patterns is easy to do in early recovery. You're Dedicated to healing and changing your life in a way you never have before. There’s no need to suffer more abuse or stay in a situation that might inspire you to relapse.
  5. It’s About You Right Now: Balancing your time and energy with another person is hard when you’re in such a selfish place. Right now, compared to the past, you’re in a  good selfish place. It’s all about you, your recovery, and your fight to save your life. When you are ready for a relationship, you will have new standards in who you want and how you want to be in a relationship with them.

Enlightened Solutions is a certified co-occurring treatment center, offering treatment and support for both substance use disorders and mental health disorders. If you are struggling to get sober and need help recovering, call us today for more information at 833-801-5483.


Seasons of Change in Recovery

The seasons are changing. Fall, or Autumn, is the beginning of the earth’s hibernation period. Leaves changing color and falling off the trees is the first sign of earth preparing to rest and prepare itself for the next spring. Seasons are a cycle of shedding, growth, and rebirth. How the seasons change and what nature does to transition between the two is a metaphor for recovery. Through the different stages of our emotional, physical, and spiritual development, we too go through seasons of change.

Active addiction is not our only winter. Winter can be seen as a time of being barren. Trees are bare, stripped of their color and opulent leaves. The weather is cold and there is often rain, darkness, or snow. Though the winter is the most “empty” time of the seasonal year, it is when the most work is being done. It may be hard to see it at the time, but at the end of every winter is a coming spring. Winter is when the earth is preparing to bud, bloom, grow, and produce rich fruit out of beautiful flowers. When we experience seasons of winter, of hard times that feel cold and empty, we are actually preparing for tremendous growth. As the spring demonstrates, often that growth is incredibly beautiful.

In the Spring, the earth stretches its branches, roots, and petals after a long winter’s hibernating nap. It explodes into amazing color. Animals birth the babies they conceived and grew during the winter. The world is alive and pushing out the fruits of its labor, quite literally. Spring, as good as the warm sun feels and the beautiful flowers are, unfortunately does not last. For recovery, this is an important lesson. “This too shall pass” is often offered as a consolation during difficult times. However, it also applies to good times. Like the seasons, everything continues to change.

Spring turns into summer full of heat and sun, healing the earth after it’s victorious rebirth. Eventually, the heat begin to dry out the trees and once more fall sets in, preparing for winter again.

During the challenging months of early recovery, change can feel impossible to endure. We long for consistency. Just as things are feeling familiar, they begin to change again. This is the cycle of recovery and of life. Part of our mission in learning to live a life of sobriety is learning how to live with life on life’s terms. Simply stated, life changes. We change with it. When the discomfort passes, you’ll learn to see these passing seasons as beautiful opportunities to learn and grow. Welcome to the beginning of your life.

Enlightened Solutions offers a program of freedom to those trapped in the endless season of addiction to drugs and alcohol. Providing compassionate therapy in the comfort of a residential home, Enlightened solutions combines twelve step philosophy with evidence based treatment and holistic healing modalities. Call us today to find out how we can put you on the path to recovery 833-801-5483