What Do I Need To Create A Relapse Prevention Plan?

Woman talking in group

A relapse prevention plan is crucial for addiction recovery as it gives you all the tools that you need to respond to relapse triggers and cravings. Many people fear relapse because they view it as a sign of weakness or failure, however, this is untrue. Relapse can be a moment of learning, as you may discover that certain aspects of your recovery program need to be altered or reinforced. However, if you’re in a program at a reputable treatment center, you will likely have a support team that will assist you in creating a relapse prevention plan.

There are many tools that you can incorporate in your prevention plan, depending on what works best for you. There is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to relapse prevention, as each person is unique and has a different way of learning. However, the following are some excellent tools that may become part of your prevention plan:

  • Mindfulness – a 2014 study found that mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) can help people respond effectively to triggers and cravings by teaching them how to recognize and observe these responses without reacting.
  • Social support – previous studies have shown that having a strong social support system is incredibly important towards reducing chances of relapse; in addition, having people whom you can call if you become triggered can significantly reduce your chances of relapse as well.
  • Lifestyle – eating healthy, getting adequate sleep and exercise, avoiding caffeine, taking prescribed medications and joining a support group can all benefit your recovery and reduce your chances of relapse.
  • Distracting yourself – having healthy alternatives to focus on when you’re triggered, such as reading, playing an instrument or listening to music, watching a movie, taking a nice hot shower, etc.
  • Cognitive processes – reminding yourself of why recovery is important, of the consequences of using, of people whom you want to stay sober for, and of how you’ll feel after relapsing are a few techniques you can use to ground yourself during times where you’re triggered.


Many people in recovery, especially during their first year, experience relapse. If you’re at the beginning of your journey to recovery, you may be particularly vulnerable because you’re still distancing yourself from drug use. This makes it even more important to be a part of the right program at a reputable treatment center. Don’t give up. Keep working towards your recovery. It’s all a learning experience.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.