Why a Relapse Prevention Plan is Essential

A relapse prevention plan is not something every person thinks about. For those who have stopped using drugs or drinking, it is a good way to remind oneself of planning ahead and starting over in recovery. Prevention plans can help an individual through the inevitable struggles of recovery.

What a Plan Entails

A relapse prevention plan is a way to:

  • Know oneself better
  • Make changes
  • Be honest
  • Know what to do in crisis

Relapse prevention starts with realizing the use and abuse of substances includes alcohol and drugs which cannot be part of a person’s life again. True remission is when a person stops using entirely but a relapse prevention plan is a daily recognition that every day is one step away from reverting back to old ways and that, without a plan, it may fail.

Do the Work

Relapse prevention plans include changes to people, places and things. It is the hard work of recovery. Every person wants to have a full, engaging life but it is impossible to avoid the people, places and things where getting clean and sober means staying clean and sober. Avoiding those things is helpful but doing the work is the best way to attain the goals.

Be Honest

Cravings deserve honesty. Honesty with oneself and others. Relapse prevention involves awareness and admitting when an urge hits. Identify what is going on and be honest to stay away from old behaviors.

Know What to Do

In the event of (insert relapse situation here), a person must know exactly what to do. It may mean moving away from people or places, having phone numbers to call or finding a trusted person. Daily intention is what will keep relapse possibility from becoming reality.

Get a Plan

Everyone needs a plan because nobody is perfect. Relapse happens to many well-intentioned people in recovery. No matter the length of sobriety, do not take it for granted. It can jump out and bite anytime. Stay focused, intentional and get a plan that builds safety and awareness into it for best results.


Sustain Recovery helps direct people on the path to recovery. Our innovative programs will help you get focused and intentional with your goals. Call us if you are ready to get started on the road to intentionally focused and healthy recovery.