Relapse Prevention and Sobriety Maintenance

Posted on September 12, 2017 By

Many professionals in the addiction recuperation field don’t fully understand the difference among a Sobriety Maintenance Plan and a Relapse Prevention Plan. This is an important distinction, and one that must not be overlooked. Understanding the differences between the 2 plans can not only enrich the particular lives of recovering individuals, it may often prevent a devastating relapse from occurring.

Sobriety Maintenance may be the art of proactively planning the afternoon to day activities and assistance mechanisms that will fill the recouping person’s newly sober life. The Sobriety Maintenance Plan might consist of such action items as viewing a therapist, attending 12-Step conferences, improving physical health, taking period off for recreation, etc . This is an ongoing plan that repeats daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.

Relapse Prevention, on the other hand, is the practice associated with proactively planning for the onset of the possible relapse and preparing an answer that will prevent that relapse through occurring. A Relapse Prevention Plan is what saves the client if and when the Maintenance Plan breaks down. Without effective Relapse Prevention planning, the very best Sobriety Maintenance Plan in the world basically isn’t enough.

The statistics regarding relapse from drug and alcoholic beverages addiction are notoriously high. Estimates range from 40% to 60% or even more, depending on the study. These statistics are usually alarming and should be viewed as the warning to treat the subject seriously, however it is important to put these statistics within correct perspective. The relapse prices for addiction should be compared to the relapse rates of other chronic ailments. For example, the relapse price for Type I diabetes will be 30% to 50%. The relapse rate for hypertension and asthma is 50% to 70%.

Drug and alcohol addiction should be handled like any other chronic illness, along with relapse being an indication of the requirement for renewed intervention. Having said that, these types of statistics also indicate that relapse does not occur in a large number of situations. To a large degree, these prosperous cases are due to effective Relapse Prevention Planning.

A Relapse Prevention Plan is a written document developed by the client with the help of a  counselor which contains specific, concrete practices that will help the customer avoid relapse. Clients recovering within hospitals or at residential centers usually receive several hours of preparing each week. In the best case situation clients will complete their own program before being discharged.

This program contains specific information about the customer’s situational triggers, belief-system triggers, and emotional triggers, and includes particular plans for behavioral coping, psychological and emotional coping, and info for people supporting their recovery regarding signs and symptoms of a relapse and what they can do to help. By time they return home they have the concrete, personalized plan for managing the particular inevitable stresses that will occur throughout a reintegration into normal life.

In most cases, the counselor also offers post-discharge support by following up with every client on a weekly basis, mentioning the client’s workbook and changing and refining the plan as required. The counselor is also available to check with other professionals that are supporting the particular recovering person. In this way the particular client’s plan can be continually up-to-date and refined according to actual life encounters, and supporting professionals can be produced aware of what works and what won’t.

These two different but associated tools, a Sobriety Maintenance Plan and a Relapse Prevention Plan, are both essential weapons in the fight against relapse. With both programs in place, recovering individuals can enjoy the wealthy new life that a Sobriety Maintenance Plan will create, along with the security against relapse that a good Relapse Prevention Plan will assure.

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