Relapse Prevention

Relapse Prevention

Last updated on 28 Sep, 2022

Relapse in addiction is the recurrence of cravings and dependency on substances. It consists of three stages: emotional, mental, and physical relapse. For successful recovery, relapse prevention strategies are necessary. So what is a relapse prevention plan? Relapse prevention is a treatment that identifies and minimizes the risks corresponding to relapse. This prevention plan helps an addict stay sober for extended periods.

The Need for Relapse Prevention Strategies

Relapse rates are not entirely specific, but the National Institute on Drug Abuse places them at anywhere from 40% to 60%. Some people relapse early in recovery, while others may stay sober for as long as twenty years or more before retreating. However, taking the proper precautions can treat addiction and avoid relapse. Some relapse measures are preventative, while others are proactive. All relapse prevention plan techniques are taught in addiction treatment, so those who use them will stand a much greater chance of maintaining sobriety.

Identifying and Avoiding Triggers of Relapse

relapse prevention plan

Identifying triggers is one of the first measures for relapse prevention strategies. These are highly personal and will vary from one addict to another. Common triggers may involve socializing with people who still use or visit establishments such as bars. Some triggers are more internal, such as anger or sheer boredom. Knowing which affects most, one can devise plans to avoid them or take life skills from motivationally focused groups.

The most specific triggers are people and institutions that remind one of drinking and drug abuse. However, avoiding negative emotions and boredom may require more effort. Always have a plan to overcome these triggers as they arise. Whether you maintain a list of healthy activities to take your mind off the trigger or simply keep a list of phone numbers for people you trust to help you, simply know that the cravings will pass if you let them. You must keep yourself engaged long enough to give them a chance.


Effective Relapse Prevention Strategies


Do not wait around for triggers to pop up. The best relapse prevention plan is the one you can practice every day. 


  • Post-treatment addicts suffer from symptoms such as fatigue and insomnia, which trigger a relapse. Self-care is essential to relieve fatigue and improve sleep quality, thereby preventing the chances of relapsing.
  • Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, and Tiredness (HALT) are often reasons for triggers. Confirming oneself regularly for these feelings when cravings for substances arise can help check relapse.
  • Practicing grounding, mindfulness, and breathing techniques, such as meditation, can instate self-awareness and ground to reality. These relapse prevention strategies will strengthen the mind and body to cope with addiction and relapse.
  • Know about what causes your trigger. It can be internal, like anger, stress, etc., or external, like certain places or people. Making a relapse prevention template and jotting down all these possible triggers can help avoid relapse.
  • Support groups such as Alcoholic Anonymus, Narcotic Anonymus, or any other groups can help provide constant motivation and support. Such groups will make you feel that you are not alone and can help in mutual recovery. Working in the service of others imbues your improvement with a sense of purpose.
  • Make a call list of people you can trust and rely on to help you with your cravings. Making calls to a sponsor or attending meetings are common prevention methods.
  • Recreational activities are effective relapse prevention strategies, so try doing something you love regularly. When you feel the urge to use, you can simply turn to your chosen hobby until the craving passes. 
  • Besides being prescribed for sleep disorders and cognition enhancement, Nootropics help in addiction recovery. These medications indirectly help as an adjunctive treatment along with other relapse prevention treatments. The urge to use the substances while on a relapse prevention plan is made dormant by Nootropics such as Modalert. Modalert helps to relay a sense of motivation to stay sober and aid co-occurring disorders like mood swings, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and tiredness. One can purchase Modalert online from HealthMatter online pharmacy without any prescription.

The point is that proactive measures should not only occupy your time but make your recovery mean something. You can try out several meaningful activities in treatment at a facility. No matter how you formulate your relapse prevention strategies, ensure it involves actions and commitments in which you want to participate. It will make it easier to develop your plan and help you stick to it well enough that you may never have to worry about cravings in the first place.





Risks of relapsing are possibly high in individuals with a severe addiction, co-occurring psychotic disorders, low motivation, and self-control. Such addicts should opt for routine consultation after addiction treatment.

Internal triggers are feelings and emotions within the patient that can cause relapse, which may vary from individual to individual. Common internal triggers are Anxiety, Sadness, Boredom, Loneliness, and Tiredness.

Coping strategies are strong self-control to manage internal and external relapsing triggers. Addiction treatment facilities teach coping skills for a successful recovery.

Relapsing is a process that occurs gradually. It can differ from person to person; some might experience it within a week; for others, it might take months.


Disclaimer: We do not provide any medical advice.

The contents of Healthma are for informational purpose only and is taken by a thorough evaluation of research papers and Journals. We do not provide professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. We advise all readers to consult a physician before consuming any medication mentioned on the website.