Not every recovering addict was given the opportunity to create a relapse prevention plan. Sometimes individuals were so focused on overcoming their addiction, they failed to create such a plan, while other times the program they were involved in didn’t incorporate it into the treatment plan. Regardless of the reason, if you don’t have a drug relapse prevention plan, it is never too late to create one even if you have been sober for a number of years.
How a Drug Relapse Prevention Plan Helps During the Recovery Phase
Addiction relapse is a very real possibility for many recovering addicts. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or the NIDA, estimates that approximately 40-60% of recovering addicts will relapse at some point in time. A relapse prevention plan does not guarantee you will not relapse, but it does gives you the tools needed to possibly prevent a relapse.
Former addicts rarely relapse suddenly. Typically, there are certain situations or warning signs that a relapse is about to occur. A drug relapse prevention plan creates a basic outline that will highlight what the warning signs are or what situations are considered triggers for a relapse.
Every relapse prevention plan needs to be customized to the individual it was created to help. It needs to be customized because the warning signs and relapse triggers for one former addict will not be the same for another. Working with an addiction counselor to create a customized relapse prevention plan increases the likelihood of preventing a relapse, as the information is tailor-made for the former addict and their unique situation.
Former addicts and their loved ones could use the information provided by a relapse prevention plan to spot a relapse before it happens. Once a possible relapse is suspected, the former addict, or their family, can get them the help, guidance, and support needed to prevent a relapse.
When is the Best Time to Create a Drug Relapse Prevention Plan?
It is recommended that a relapse prevention plan be created within the first three months of the individual leaving inpatient rehabilitation. This time frame is recommended, as most relapses occur within the first three months after release from an inpatient rehabilitation program.
Even if a relapse prevention plan was not created within the recommended timeframe, a plan can still be created regardless of where the former addict is in the recovery process. Even if it several months after successfully completing an inpatient rehabilitation program. Individual addiction counselors, day hospital programs, and intensive outpatient programs all that the resources available to help former addicts create a plan-of-action should the signs point to a potential relapse.
It is never too late to create a relapse prevention plan. Contact Atlantic Recovery Center today to learn more about available addiction resources and programs that can help you or a loved one create a drug relapse prevention plan.