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Relapse Prevention

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Because relapse is a dark reality for many people battling drug and alcohol addiction, a major part of rehab is relapse prevention. One sign of a strong rehab program is an intense relapse prevention process.


What do you need in your alcohol and substance abuse relapse prevention toolkit?


You may be considering rehab for the first time. But you may be here trying to decide why you or your loved one fell back into drug and alcohol use. There is no easy answer as to the “why” relapse occurs, but there are many tools, techniques and strategies that will make long-term recovery possible.


Recovery and relapse live on the same spectrum, at polar ends. Recognizing when you might be moving toward the “relapse” end is a key idea.


You will begin developing a relapse plan during treatment, and Clean Slate will follow up with you to make sure it’s working for you, and help you discover and develop more relapse prevention options.


A solid relapse prevention plan will include many components:

  • Understanding what led to your substance abuse in the first place
  • What triggers seem to cause cravings or thoughts of using drugs or drinking again
  • Recognizing relapse warning signs
  • Have a support plan in already in place—this includes formal and informal outside help (family, sober living homes, AA/NA)
  • Relaxation and other techniques to calm fears and anxiety
  • Using daily inventory sheets to help plan goals and create action to help you move through difficult days


Substance abuse relapse prevention and alcohol relapse prevention are managed with the same general principles, but tailored to what works best for you. The most important overall strategy is to be well-educated about relapse, and have as many tools to put to work to prevent it.