By general definition, relapse means to fall or slip back into a former state. Regarding addiction, relapse is a return to drug or alcohol use following a period of abstinence. For mental health, a relapse is the return of symptoms to the degree that functioning is impaired. Relapse is always within the bounds of possibility in recovery, whether from a substance use disorder or a mental health disorder.
At Harmony Hills, we recognize the importance of relapse prevention therapy to help support and promote lasting recovery. When preparing to return to life outside of treatment, it is critical to creating a relapse prevention plan. To learn more, call us at 855.494.0357.
Relapse Prevention Plan for Mental Health Disorders
The first part of a relapse prevention plan for mental health is to take your prescribed medications according to your doctor’s orders, even when you are feeling well. If you think that changes to your medication regimen are warranted, discuss this with your doctor and therapist. Stopping medication all at once or too early can not only be dangerous but can lead to relapse.
Next, learn to identify early warning signs that suggest your health may be worsening. Warning signs appear before symptoms begin to affect your functioning. Learning to recognize them enables you to respond to problems quickly and prevent them from getting out of control. Also, pay attention to your triggers and stressful situations. Learning to plan and having an action plan in place can help you avoid relapse.
In writing a relapse prevention plan, be as specific as possible and have copies to share with those closest to you. At Harmony Hills, this will be part of the aftercare planning that you will create with your clinician. Your relapse prevention plan might include the following:
- Early warning signs you experienced in the past
- Things that help when you experience early warning signs
- Situations and events that have triggered you in the past
- People who can help you and how
- People you can contact in an emergency
You should design your relapse prevention plan to be flexible to change with your needs. Periodically review your plan, make adjustments as needed, and share changes with your support system.
Relapse Prevention Plan for Substance Use Disorders
A significant component of the substance use disorder treatment you will receive at Harmony Hills is planning your successful reintegration into regular daily life. Relapse can occur at any point in recovery, but it is most likely within the first year following treatment. Through our aftercare program and relapse prevention program, we work with you to develop the tools to prepare you to cope with the stress and triggers of daily life without turning to drugs or alcohol.
Upon completing a substance abuse treatment program at Harmony Hills, you will likely return to your home environment and community, which will be essentially unchanged. For many, the biggest challenge with this is not falling back into old relationship dynamics and patterns of behavior that put your recovery in jeopardy. With a solid relapse prevention plan in place, you will be well-equipped to face these challenges.
The relapse prevention plan that you create with your treatment team at Harmony Hills will be designed to suit your individual needs and will include, but not be limited to the following:
- A list of known and potential triggers and how to manage them
- A list of contacts for when you feel at risk of using
- Strategies and coping skills for responding to stress and triggers
- A list of resources for emergency support
- A maintenance plan for daily life
- Personal goals and healthy lifestyle strategies
At Harmony Hills, we strongly believe in the effectiveness of the 12-step recovery model and encourage clients to incorporate 12-step meetings into their relapse prevention plan.
Contact Harmony Hills for Effective Relapse Prevention Therapy
At Harmony Hills, we are invested in providing a continuum of care – a detailed plan for the services you or your loved one needs following treatment for substance use or mental health disorders to stay sober and healthy. For more information about relapse prevention therapy, contact us at 855.494.0357.