She got a new job shortly after her initial recovery. She was confident to learn the new responsibilities. She did not have any trouble understanding or comprehending her assignments related to job. But a short time later when she attempted to do certain tasks by herself she could not remember how to do them. She was embarrassed to ask for help because she thought she should be able to do without help. She frequently made mistakes. She began to feel very anxious and as her stress increased; her memory starts to trouble her a lot. In addiction she began having problems of concentration. After a number of problems arose, she lost her job. She was confused as to how this would have happened. She began to believe that she was much less competent than she was and due to this she starts using drugs again.
Above is one example of many how if relapse prevention planning failure leads any individual to dig deep in addiction. Many individuals relapse because they do not know the process and actions to prevent it. Planning for relapse prevention reduces its catastrophic potential. Relapse prevention planning gives the individual a sense of security. He will know that he is doing exactly what is appropriate. He can identify early warning signs and develop a plan accordingly.
Following steps are crucial for relapse prevention planning:-
Balancing and Stabaling Yourself:
Before an individual starts his journey he must be in control of himself. He must regain control of his thoughts, emotions, memory, judgment and behavior. It is normal for him too feel frightened, angry, disappointed or guilty. By balancing or stabilization one can easily cope up with difficult situations.
The second step of relapse prevention planning is to find what happened that caused the relapse. This is done by reviewing history of drugging as well as specific signs and symptoms that appeared during each period of abstinence. This assessment provide valuable information and insight about what went wrong and what can be done differently, how to improve chances of permanent sobriety?
In order to prevent relapse individual must understand it. The more information he has about addiction, recovery and relapse the more tools he has in his possession to maintain his recovery. Knowledge about post acute withdrawals, high risk situations, and compulsive behavior mechanism is a must. Reading is not enough for this purpose. Individual must review and discuss such concepts with others.
Relapse Warning Sign Identification:
Every individual has a unique set of warning signs that indicate that the process of relapse is occurring. These are signs that gives him the indication that he is developing relapse symptoms. These signs may be health related, thinking emotional or problems related to appropriate behavior and judgment. It is necessary to develop a list of personal warning signs. Individual should develop a list of clear and specific indicators that are moving him away from productive and comfortable living.
Management of These Warning Signs:
The fifth step is all about management of these signs. Individual must remember that addiction is a disease which has the ability or tendency towards relapse. This means that every recovering individual will have a tendency to go through warning signs that can lead him back to drug use. Establish new responses to these warning signs. What positive action may you take to avoid the? Chalk down several options and solutions, for winning the game against relapse. Practice each response until it becomes a habit. If these new solutions are available to the individual in high stress, he must practice it in times of low stress.
To conclude: “When you feel like giving up on recovery, remember why you have held on for so long.”