Relapse Prevention Overeaters Anonymous

Being aware of the stages of relapse and having a plan to deal with them can help prevent you from using again. Follow these 10 techniques to help you stay on track with your recovery. Stay away from the old friends who used with you and look to people who can support you soberly in your recovery. While this may be difficult, it is critical to your recovery.

Note the term relapse management rather than relapse prevention—when relapse occurs then ‘prevention’ indicates failure whereas ‘management’ promotes the idea of coping. A relapse prevention plan can serve as a way to improve all aspects of life and hold yourself accountable. Refer back to the plan often to remind yourself why you are doing this and how to keep it up. The plan may change with time and as you identify new or different areas of your life that you may wish to focus on.

How to Write a Bulletproof Relapse Prevention Plan

A very helpful relapse prevention skill is making a list of healthy family members or friends who are also in recovery that you can call for support. Having a safe person to talk to can help you get past the craving and remember why you do not want to return to previous behaviors. Keeping that list on you at all times is important because it is a readily available resource you can use by quickly calling someone safe. Second, mind-body relaxation helps individuals let go of negative thinking such as dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, which are triggers for relapse. Third, mind-body relaxation is a way of being kind to oneself. The practice of self-care during mind-body relaxation translates into self-care in the rest of life.

Rather than being overwhelmed by the wave, the goal is to “surf” its crest, attending to thoughts and sensations as the urge peaks and subsides. If you’re not sure how to move through the recovery process, follow one of the relapse prevention plan models that are available. Substance abuse and mental health expert Terry Gorski has a nine-step relapse prevention plan that can help you recognize and manage relapse warning signs. Alan Marlatt, PhD, developed an approach that uses mental, behavioral, and lifestyle choices to prevent relapse. The recently introduced dynamic model of relapse takes many of the RREP criticisms into account.

Specific Relapse Prevention Techniques for the Holidays:

During a physical relapse, people usually feel bad about the choices they make. They can enter a deep depression because they feel like they let their families and friends down. The key is to remember that relapse is often part of the recovery journey.

Part of strategizing for recovery can be writing a relapse prevention plan and taking steps to help yourself stick to it. While the relapse prevention plan may not always be written down (e.g., a verbal agreement), writing it down can have several benefits. With a relapse prevention plan, it is possible to acknowledge and act upon certain feelings and events, in turn avoiding a physical relapse . Detailed Planning – Some relapse prevention strategies fail because they lack detailed planning. The more general the relapse prevention plan, the less effective it becomes.

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