During recovery, it takes time for your body and mind to heal fully. What makes a recovery especially difficult is the high relapse rates. Between 40% and 60% of people in active recovery suffer a relapse, which happens when you begin abusing substances after a period of complete abstinence. Creating a relapse prevention plan is an important part of treatment. But what is a relapse prevention plan?
Substance abuse disorders, addiction, and alcoholism are chronic conditions that impact your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When you struggle with a substance abuse disorder, it’s difficult to achieve recovery and sobriety without treatment because addiction has no known cure. Additionally, anyone can develop a substance abuse disorder because addiction doesn’t discriminate.
How Addiction Works
Addiction occurs when you compulsively abuse drugs despite wanting to stop using or experiencing negative consequences as a result of your use. Drugs and alcohol are neurotransmitter inhibitors and cause your brain to release more pleasurable neurotransmitters than it should every time you use. Your brain then associates the substance with positive emotions, which alters your pleasure and reward center.
Your brain also connects everything that reminds you of your substance of choice with pleasure, which causes you to experience intense cravings whenever you’re exposed to triggers. Many substances also have the potential to cause physical dependency, which means your body needs your substance of choice to feel normal and to avoid dealing with painful withdrawal symptoms. Cravings can continue long after your last use, which can make it hard to avoid relapsing.
When you develop a substance abuse disorder, your tolerance increases, meaning you have to constantly increase your use to feel the same pleasurable effects of intoxication. This can cause you to spend excessive amounts of money on your substance of choice, which can lead to serious financial problems.
Addiction can also cause:
- Physical and mental health problems
- Relationship issues
- Difficulty keeping or finding a job
- Personality and mood changes
What is a Relapse Prevention Plan?
So, what is a relapse prevention plan, and why is it important during recovery from a substance abuse disorder? A relapse prevention plan focuses on identifying your triggers. Also, it involves creating a strategy for how to cope with them healthily. Since triggers and cravings are a part of recovery, learning how to manage these symptoms is important in order to protect your sobriety successfully.
If you’re still wondering what a relapse prevention plan is, think of it as a path for life after treatment. Since stress is unavoidable, a relapse prevention plan prepares you to deal with these barriers without using drugs or alcohol. During active addiction, it’s common to rely on substances to manage things like anxiety, depression, and stress. A relapse prevention plan ensures you can protect your recovery and maintain your sobriety even when you face challenges.
Reaching Out for Help Today
Are you wondering what is a relapse prevention plan, and why is it important during recovery? The simple answer is that learning how to handle cravings and triggers is essential to your sobriety. Struggling with a substance abuse disorder can make it difficult to live a healthy and normal life. Reaching out for help is the first step in regaining control of your life. To find out more about our programs and how we can help you find recovery, contact us at 855.380.7560 today.