What Is A Relapse Prevention Plan?

DrugRehab.org What is a Relapse Prevention Plan_

Entering treatment for drug or alcohol abuse can be one of the best choices you make in your life. Once you enter the program, you have an intense road of therapy, counseling, medication, and other possible treatment methods to help you get better. But what happens once you complete treatment, and get back to your life?

Will you relapse, or fall victim to addiction again? It’s definitely a possibility. Some may see relapse as a failure, but that is simply not the case. If you look at recovery as a spectrum, then you understand that in your newfound sobriety there may be a few falls from grace, but these do not define your progress.

It’s how you handle these lapses in your recovery goals that will determine the course of your recovery journey. When you face the triggers of addiction that pull you, will you have the stamina to push them away, to step aside? You will if you have a solid relapse prevention plan.

Relapse prevention begins in treatment. In fact, relapse prevention is treatment—all of your progress in a drug rehab center works toward preventing future relapse.

Why Do People Relapse?

DrugRehab.org What is a Relapse Prevention Plan_ Handle These Lapses In YourAs the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains, “the chronic nature of the disease [addiction] means that relapsing to drug abuse at some point is not only possible, but likely.” However, contrary to what you may have heard or read, relapse is not a sign of treatment or recovery failure.

It’s not surprising to us when someone with other major illnesses relapse. You wouldn’t question someone having to re-enter treatment for diabetes. Addiction is a chronic illness as well. Though it is possible to effectively treat and cure addiction, relapse is simply part of the course.

“For a person recovering from addiction, lapsing back to drug use indicates that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted or that another treatment should be tried,” the NIDA explains.

Does Relapse Mean You Have To Go Back To Rehab?

Experiencing a relapse from sobriety is not a guarantee that you have to go back to rehab. Again, it’s all about how you handle that relapse. Life is full of substance abuse triggers. In treatment, you learn how to handle them.

When you begin going through your relapse, it’s important to call on principles, skills, and thought management processes learned during treatment. For instance, in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), you may have learned to assess a situation, identify troubling thoughts and behaviors, and confront those thoughts and behaviors through logical means.

This sort of rationale can help immensely during a relapse, but sometimes the old pull of addiction is simply too strong, or your grasp on treatment principles isn’t strong enough yet. Admitting that you need some more time in treatment to gain a stronger hold on treatment principles doesn’t make you weak. It doesn’t even mean you aren’t well.

It simply means you are still working on your recovery goals. At the end of the day, the important thing is that you’re making strides to getting well. At DrugRehab.org, we recognize that relapse is not just an unfortunate possibility, but part of your recovery and help you to work through it.

How To Design A Relapse Prevention Plan

Each person will deal with relapse in his or her own way. Prevention plans for relapse are as unique as the individuals who will use them. Unfortunately, relapse is a side effect that tends to catch you off guard. That’s why it’s so important to have a plan in place for managing relapse when it occurs, and preferably before leaving treatment.

This can be as comprehensive as a written step-by-step guide to managing triggers and emotions or thoughts that lead to relapse, or as simple as giving voice to this plan during counseling or therapy.

DrugRehab.org What is a Relapse Prevention Plan_ At The End Of The Day

The best way to design a prevention plan is to take a look at some key components that lead to relapse, and measures that will help prevent it, such as:

  • Signs of relapse: there are many things that trigger abuse, but each is specific to the individual. For some, it may be past trauma and feelings associated with it. Whatever your triggers are, you have to recognize them and know how to manage them.
  • Past relapses: if you’ve been through a relapse before, you may have the advantage of knowing how and when they may happen, which can help you in handling them.
  • Who gives you support: whether this is family, friends, or a new support group you enter, such as a 12-step support group, having people who are behind you in your efforts can make a vast difference in handling relapse.
  • Designing a life that is free from addiction: this may seem obvious, but it’s important to fill your schedule with healthy, fulfilling activities that help relieve and manage stress which often leads to relapse.

Having a plan doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be more likely to relapse. It just makes you more prepared in case it happens, helping you to stay the path of sobriety.

The Importance Of Addiction Recovery

How important is recovery? If you are falling into relapse, or have fallen before, you may be wondering just how important addiction treatment is to a healthy life. The NIDA reports that people who get into treatment and successfully complete treatment programs see less criminal activity, tend to stop substance abuse, and see better social and personal functioning overall.

Addiction can lead to a myriad of consequences in your life, especially for your health. Depending on the substance of abuse, long-term substance abuse can result in troubles with a number of organs such as the heart, liver, brain, lungs, and more. Prolonged abuse can also contribute to the development of several types of cancer.

DrugRehab.org What is a Relapse Prevention Plan_ People Who Get Into Treatment

If the damage to your health wasn’t enough, addiction changes you as a person. Once you become addicted, life becomes all about seeking the substance of choice. This can lead to some risky behavior and decisions.

No one casually uses a drug thinking addiction will be the result, or crime, or even contracting infectious or sexually transmitted diseases. But these are all possible consequences of abusing substances. Even with relapse, treatment and subsequent sobriety are far better options.

Getting Help With Your Relapse Prevention Plan

Relapse is not a step back in the path to sobriety, but simply another step along the way. You don’t have to be ashamed or discouraged if you’re experiencing relapse. Achieving sobriety long enough to relapse is a victory all its own.

But if you are finding it difficult to overcome a relapse, or you want to get back into treatment to steer yourself back in the right direction, we can help. Contact us today at DrugRehab.org to learn more about relapse, treatment options, and the best drug rehab centers available.

For more information, call now!

For More Information Related to “What Is A Relapse Prevention Plan?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:



American Psychological Association—Preventing Relapse
National Institute On Drug Abuse—What Is Relapse?
Psychology Today—Why Relapse Isn’t A Sign Of Failure

The Benefits of Faith-Based Recovery Programs

DrugRehab.org The Benefits of Faith-Based Recovery Programs

Fear and addiction pretty much go hand in hand and people live with the fear that there is no hope for them to beat an addiction. With a faith-based recovery program, there is hope. These recovery programs give people who suffer from addictions a higher power to look up to—and be reassured that they haven’t failed morally, because what they have is a disease. Faith-based recovery programs can help someone overcome a pornography addiction, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, or other behavioral addictions. With a faith-based program there can be hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Have you ever suggested that a person seek help for a drug or alcohol problem; only to have them tell you that they didn’t need help? Perhaps you suggested they try a program like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous—almost invariably they told you that they weren’t “like those people.” Could that answer have been a result of fear and lack of faith? Maybe your friend was afraid that they’d find out that they were like those people, or that they did have a drinking and drugging problem.

Addiction—Faith In Nothing

A lot of people with addictions have little faith in the idea of recovery—or little faith that there’s a such thing as a higher power. Actually lot of people who are active in an addiction to alcohol or drugs don’t have faith in much; it’s possible that they feel neglected by God, by their family, and may support a variety of other secular beliefs as well. Maybe they’re going around with a chip on their shoulder because they’re stuck with a drug or alcohol dependence, but everyone else doesn’t.

What Is Faith-Based Recovery?

By definition, faith is putting complete trust or confidence in someone or something—in a faith-based recovery, a person with an addiction looks to the teachings of a certain faith to find serenity and recovery. For instance, in a Christian-based recovery, a person would likely look to the teachings of Christ in the New-Testament of the Bible, whereas a person who practices Judaism (Jewish-based) would more likely use the Torah.

DrugRehab.org The Benefits of Faith-Based Recovery Programs Putting Complete Trust

Thanks to community outreach organizations like Faith-based and Community Initiatives, treatment centers can provide people with shelter if they’re homeless or might become homeless; they can also inform teens and young adults about drug and alcohol addiction, or even provide crisis counseling for people who have experienced trauma.

What Kind Of Treatment Is Faith-Based Recovery?

Essentially, faith-based recovery and support is “an opportunity for places of worship and fellowship to support and strengthen families in their communities by offering recovery programs to help individuals beat their addictions” (Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services). Faith-based recovery can work in several areas of treatment: Mental health services; substance use prevention; and addiction treatment just to name a few (SAMHSA). Not only can it work for addictions, faith-based recovery can help a person suffering from mental health disorders as well.

These types of recovery programs can look differently based on what type they are—faith-based treatment can be inpatient or outpatient, group or individual, long-term or short-term, but the main point of each is to help people in need. Sometimes a faith-based treatment will be used in criminal justice to revolutionize the way a convict thinks; and faith-based treatment methods can often be found in prisons, jails, or other community corrections facilities.

What Kind Of Addictions Can A Faith-Based Rehab Treat?

As previously mentioned, faith is something that a lot of people with addictions don’t have—so how do they get it? Sometimes it’s hard to put any kind of faith in something you can’t see, especially when you’ve been dealt such a bad hand. Perhaps you come from a long line of alcoholics, or addicts. There is hope, and a faith-based option can treat more than one kind of addiction—they can treat:

What Can A Faith-Based Recovery Program Do For People?

Faith-based recovery programs help people realize that they aren’t alone in addiction—and if they place their trust in someone else or in God, they can beat addiction. It all starts with a willingness to admit that there’s a problem. In faith-based treatment rehab centers, some of the requirements of the spiritual leaders are:

  • Viewing addiction as a treatable disease, not just a moral issue
  • Embracing and supporting people in recovery and walking with them on their journey
  • Having a visible outreach in the community
  • Having spiritual/pastoral support
  • Disseminating Information
  • Having or hosting recovery support groups
    (Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services)

DrugRehab.org The Benefits of Faith-Based Recovery Programs in Faith-Based Treatment

You aren’t going to be shunned or disgraced because you have an addiction. You’ll be supported, cared about, and encouraged to do the best you can. Placing all of your trust in one person or idea can be pretty difficult if you’ve never seen it work for you, but if you can see the miracle in someone else, you’re more likely to believe that it can work for you. Not only can you feel like you’re worth fighting for, but through a faith-based recovery, you can feel like you have a purpose—and your quality of life can become so much better.

How Many Faith-Based Recovery Programs Are There?

There isn’t an exact number of faith-based recovery programs available, because faith-based recovery can be hosted by churches, sober living homes, rehab centers, and 12 step-programs. But one thing that’s certain: In the United States, with more than 60,698 groups and over 1,200,000 members in Alcoholics Anonymous, and about 50 other programs modeled after the original 12-step model (with just about every addiction you could imagine); there’s a faith-based recovery program available for just about everyone.

What Is A 12-Step Program?

A 12-step program is a way for a person to use fellowship, unity, and recovery to understand why they’re addicted, learn how other people fight addictions, and how to stay sober. It’s about realizing that there is a God, and you’re not it.

According to an article in the United States National Library of Medicine, “Twelve-step fellowships (e.g., Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous) are the most widely available addiction recovery resource in the United States. Affiliation with 12-step fellowships, both during and after treatment, is a cost-effective and useful approach to promoting recovery from alcohol–and other drug-related problems.”

Is Faith-Based Treatment Religious Or Spiritual?

Faith-based treatment can be both spiritual and and religious. Spirituality, by definition, is something concerned with a person’s spirit or soul rather than material things, and religious means related to believing in a religion. AA claims to be a spiritual program, however, based on the 12 steps, members are also encouraged to practice praying to a “God of their understanding.” Not to twist things up too much; spirituality and religion can, but don’t always, have some of the same ideas.

DrugRehab.org The Benefits of Faith-Based Recovery Programs Religious Or Spiritual

What Is Addiction?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs.” Along with health, financial stability, and social life, addictions can control a person’s behavior, learning, judgment, memory, and decision-making.

How To Get Help With An Addiction

There are a lot of things to be afraid of if you’re suffering from an addiction, or struggling with an emotional or mental disorder—fear of rejection, fear of overdose and death, and fear that you’ll never get the treatment you need. If you’re living in fear and suffering from an addiction; it’s time to step out of the shadows and contact us. We can show you to the light, and help find the recovery program that’s right for you. It’s time to “let your faith be bigger than your fear.”

For more information, call now!


For More Information Related to “The Benefits of Faith-Based Recovery Programs” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:



Alcoholics Anonymous – Estimates of A.A. Groups and Members as of January 1, 2016
Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services – Join Our Faith-Based Recovery Network
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Understanding Drug Use and Addiction
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration- SAMHSA – About Faith-based and Community Initiatives
United States National Library of Medicine – The Role of Social Supports, Spirituality, Religiousness, Life Meaning and Affiliation with 12-Step Fellowships in Quality of Life Satisfaction Among Individuals in Recovery from Alcohol and Drug Problems

What Are Sober Living Homes?

DrugRehab.org What Are Sober Living Homes_

So much of substance abuse treatment is focused on getting through recovery—an important step in building a sober life. But after the initial treatment stay at a rehab facility, some individuals may need to continue living in an environment that is geared for sober living. Aftercare is so important to ensuring long-term recovery success, and sober living homes can help with that.

Sober Living Homes Defined

DrugRehab.org What Are Sober Living Homes_ Bridge The GapSober living homes, also called sober homes or sober living houses, are facilities people may enter after undergoing treatment at rehab facilities and before integrating back into their communities. Sober living homes were developed to help people bridge the gap between treatment and resuming previous life obligations. For many, their current lifestyle may be heavily laden with substance abuse. Attempting to re-enter that lifestyle may cause immediate relapse due to triggers. Sober living homes may allow a person to begin their old lifestyle while still keeping true to their recovery goals.

How Do Sober Living Homes Work?

In an attempt to keep recovering individuals on track, sober living homes may utilize 12-step programs and/or treatment methods similar to those in rehab centers. Twelve-step programs are used by many treatment facilities, support groups, and in counseling which provide a set of principles for individuals to follow. Principles differ among programs, but usually outline guidelines for all parts of recovery, including addiction, how to handle urges and cravings, and dealing with behavioral issues. These programs typically involve admitting that the substance abuse is bigger than the recovering individual, recognizing mistakes made in the past, finding solutions for avoiding future mistakes, finding a way to atone for mistakes, developing new lifestyle habits, and helping others to also recover.

DrugRehab.org What Are Sober Living Homes_ Not To Be Co-EdJust like in treatment facilities, participants in sober living homes may be required to take part in the 12-step programs, undergo substance testing to ensure sobriety, and make daily progress toward their recovery goals. These homes tend not to be co-ed, especially since women and men have different treatment needs. Gender-specific homes also allow for a safe, welcoming environment that allow women or men to heal in a place that is geared to their needs.

While different sober living homes will have different required criteria, each may be loosely structured around the following rules:

  • Mandatory abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
  • No violence allowed.
  • No guests allowed overnight.
  • Mandatory participation in recovery meetings.
  • Mandatory participation in 12-step groups.
  • Timely payment of fees.
  • Participation in school, work, or an outpatient program.

Sober living homes are staffed with supportive professionals, much like rehab centers. Round-the-clock care helps ensure that participants can focus on recovery and their lifestyle behavioral goals. However, most sober living homes allow participants to leave the home as they please, as long as they are following house rules.

Why Are Sober Living Homes Important?

DrugRehab.org What Are Sober Living Homes_ Test The WatersThe biggest difference between rehab centers and sober living homes is that the homes provide the first instance for recovering individuals to begin taking on responsibility again. While attending treatment at residential treatment centers, individuals may focus solely on recovery. Sober living homes provide a chance for people to test the waters for sober life.

Living with others in sober living homes may also forge the first friendships of a sober life, another important step. Recovery is often fraught with relapse, and having people around who understand your struggles (often because they have experienced them, too) may be reassuring in the months and years ahead. Further, a feeling of isolation can be dangerous for those recovering, and living in a group home helps avoid isolation.

Those who have suffered from prolonged abuse, or who have concerns about staying sober after leaving a rehab facility may benefit most from sober living homes. However, anyone who has been through treatment and wants time to make sure he or she can stay dedicated to sobriety may also benefit.

How To Get Help With Treatment And Beyond

For more on the Sober Living Homes contact us today

Entering treatment is not a simple commitment, but one that requires full dedication. Staying the path of sobriety may also mean entering a program that helps a person stay true to recovery goals. Sober living houses can help a person continue sobriety, just as rehab treatment centers can help a person begin to recover from drug and alcohol abuse. If you are looking for help for a loved one, we can help. To speak to one of our experts about your concerns, learn more about entering rehab centers for treatment, or to discuss treatment options, contact us today at DrugRehab.org.

Pros and Cons of 12 Step Recovery Programs for Addiction Treatment

Pros and Cons of 12 Step Recovery Programs for Addiction Treatment

The 12-step recovery program is a cornerstone in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. Started in the 1930s, it was the first popularized treatment methodology to acknowledge addiction as something other than a choice.

Today, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are organizations dedicated to helping people worldwide achieve sobriety through a series of graduated steps and regular meetings. Research supports the efficacy of 12-step programs like AA and NA, though several studies indicate a gender divide on who is more likely to benefit from such a program. In some cases, a 12-step program might not be as effective as other therapies, when used alone, and in other cases, it is an excellent complement to other forms of treatment.

Pros Of The 12-Step Recovery Program For Drug And Alcohol Addiction Treatment

A 12-step program like AA or NA provides a framework of steps in acknowledging the addiction, accepting the consequences of the addiction, ways to mend at least some of the damage done while using, and encourages the building of a network of support through a service-oriented 12th step. For the large number of people AA and NA provide support to, it’s a self-sufficient organization supported by donation. Someone wishing to seek help through a 12-step program can do so at no cost. And with cost of treatment being a primary barrier for most people, 12-step programs can offer a life-line of much needed support.

Sponsorship is another benefit of the 12-step program. Someone within the program can choose to work with a person who has been through the steps and has remained in sobriety for at least five years. While not a therapist, a sponsor can offer a level of support unique to the program, in that they have survived addiction and successfully completed the program.

Evidence supports the effectiveness of AA and NA, though few studies have been concluded due to the high level of anonymity of these programs. One of those studies, sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), examined the effectiveness of three different treatment types in reducing overall drinking, including the 12-step, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and motivational therapy. While all three treatment types showed promise, the 12-step program resulted in the most significant long-term impact.

The 12-step program affords participants an immediate and broad network of support within their existing community. The nature of the program encourages continued participation in regular meetings, and at different levels, including sponsorship.

Cons Of The 12-Step Recovery Program For Drug And Alcohol Addiction Treatment

While the traditional 12-step program has proven effective for many, there are some drawbacks to this form of treatment. The 12-step model emphasizes the powerlessness of the individual in battling addiction, and studies have found this approach to be less effective for women.

Research indicates men and women begin drinking for different reasons. While men tend to drink to feel more powerful and to decrease inhibition, women are more likely to drink from a place of numbing or pain reduction. They do not report feeling more powerful while drinking. As a result, women tend to see improved outcomes with cognitive behavioral therapy over the 12-step program, as well as programs like the trauma recovery empowerment model (TREM), which seek to empower women toward skill-building and coping with past sexual and physical trauma.

Another con of the 12-step program, especially for humanists or atheists, is the program’s fundamental adherence in the belief of a higher power. While this higher power is sometimes interpreted as the program itself, this reliance on an outside power to guide the process may not be a comfortable notion for everyone.

Other drawbacks of the 12-step program involve the lack of emphasis on physical recovery. Addiction comes with adverse health effects and withdrawal symptoms that are not addressed by the 12-step model.

Some are also uncomfortable with the very public nature of 12-step programs in asking participants to acknowledge their addiction in a group setting. For someone with a co-occurring mental disorder, the experience of talking about their drug or alcohol use in a group setting can increase symptoms of the disorder.

Pros and Cons of the 12-Step Recovery Program for Addiction Treatment:


  • Self-sufficient organization operating on donation only, not cost to individual
  • Provides level of sponsorship support, unique to the program
  • Evidence supports long-term effectiveness of the 12 step program
  • Built-in broad social network of support


  • Not an empowerment model, so less effective for women seeking treatment
  • Reliance on a higher power, individuals are powerless to affect change without this higher power
  • Lacks emphasis on physical aspects of recovery, including withdrawal or detox period
  • Social aspects of program may increase symptoms of co-occurring mental disorders

Every year brings forth additional awareness of the complexity of addiction and improvements in recovery programs to increase long-term success rates. The traditional 12-step program can be used alone, or may be a good compliment to a more comprehensive approach to treating drug and alcohol addiction.

Locate The Right Treatment Type For You

DrugRehab.org can connect you with the online resources, professional support, and the comprehensive, evidence-based support you need to achieve recovery. Contact us today and we’ll help you find a treatment plan that will work best for you, to help you attain your long-term recovery goals. Discover a new and rewarding life in recovery, beginning today.

Contact us today to learn about the options best suited to meet your individual needs.

For More Information Related to “Pros and Cons of 12 Step Recovery Programs for Addiction Treatment” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org: