Our care coordinators at Midwest Recovery Center work with patients on extensive relapse prevention planning and aftercare planning. We know that when leaving detox, residential, or stepping down from a partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient program, or outpatient treatment can be nerve-racking. Sometimes, when you have lived with your addiction for so long, it may feel easier to fall back into old ways than to continue forging this new path. We know that with support, you can persevere.
What to Consider in Relapse Prevention Planning
Community housing is a great way to add another layer of accountability. It requires all patients to be sober, working towards education, have a job, or be volunteering. Community housing is a great way of helping patients be part of a drug-free, recovery-focused environment with like-minded peers. Some other practices to consider in relapse prevention planning include:
- 90 in 90: This refers to getting to 90 AA/NA meetings in your first 90 days. This can help you stay accountable, create new positive habits and create connections with your local AA/NA community. Maybe this sounds boring, or you think you could do more with your free time, but who knows when you will finally hear what you needed to hear, and everything will click.
- Get a Sponsor, Work the Steps: Getting a sponsor can be scary and seem foreign. However, a sponsor is an integral part of starting a lifelong recovery. Sponsors help guide you on the path, so you can then help guide someone else on the path. You will also need a sponsor to work the 12-Steps.
- New Hobbies: Creating new hobbies can help your recovery stronger and help you learn a lot about yourself. When we are using drugs and alcohol, that becomes our hobby. But creating new, healthy hobbies can help us stay clean and sober and give us extra meaning in life. Joining a book club, starting a blog, keeping a journal, exercising, or learning to cook, paint, or a new language.
- Stay honest: Stay honest with your peers, your family, your sponsor, and your treatment team, but most importantly, stay honest with yourself. If something is difficult for you, if you make a mistake or need extra help, learn to say it. Honesty and communication is the key to recovery.
Things to Avoid When Leaving Treatment: Relapse Prevention Planning
“People, places, things” is a phrase you will hear again and again in treatment. Avoiding people you used to use with, places where you used to go to get high or drunk, and doing things that made you feel like using, or behaviors of someone who is currently using or drinking should be a no-brainer. Avoiding these things may be very difficult and almost seem impossible, for instance, what if you and your husband were both getting high together in your home, or you and your best friend always drank together, and you do not want to lose them, what happens now? If you used to get high or drink in your home, you might not be able to just up and move, and that is fine. The important thing is to remove any of the things that may trigger you from your home.
Take new ways homes from work or meetings or consider staying in community housing until you feel ready to return to your home. Friends and family may be rougher water to navigate. If they can respect and support your choice to get clean and sober and accept the new boundaries you may have, that is different than someone who may not care and continue to use at your home or when you are out with them. Putting yourself in situations with people who don’t respect your sobriety will end up in a relapse. Things refer to behaviors you may have had when you were using. Maybe your old job, the way you spend money, the way you compose yourself are all reminiscent of your using days. It is time to change.
If you begin to take care of yourself and act as your care, you will start to care. There is no perfect way to avoid people, places, and things. This is something you can work on with your sponsor, your supports and figure out with yourself when you remain honest. Learning how to navigate people, places, and things without using or drinking will come as you remain solid in your recovery.
Discover How Midwest Recovery Center Can Help Reduce Relapse
Avoid trying to rescue your friends, family, or peers who are using. Call your sponsor or others who support your recovery and ask them what you can do to help without risking your own recovery. Going down to the spot they are using and trying to get them back into detox might end in you needing detox too. It is a great gift of sobriety that we want to help others, but we should want to keep ourselves on a strong and sturdy path first and foremost.