4 Relapse Prevention Strategies

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

word Relapse

Recovering from drug or alcohol abuse is a process.  This process will look differently for each person.  You might find that you enjoy a particular 12-step meeting or have non-using friends that can support you.  Whatever is working for you, keep doing it.  Below are some suggestions for relapse prevention that can serve as a guide to prevent relapse.


Research suggests that a person in recovery will need support to maintain sobriety.  This support can come in many forms including 12-step meetings, family and friends, therapeutic support, or spiritual support.  12-step meetings provide fellowship and a safe place to share your feelings and get support from others who share in the recovery process.  After a certain amount of time has passed, you can engage with a sponsor.  A sponsor can provide invaluable support when you need it.  They can help you work through problems or provide a friendly ear when you need to talk.  Family and friends serve as a good source of support as well.  It is important that your friends share in your recovery efforts and it is a good idea to stay away from those who are still using and could potentially jeopardize your recovery.

Therapeutic support can include seeing an individual therapist or other mental health professional.  Group substance abuse therapy is a great way to meet new people and learn from others who have similar problems to your own.  Spiritual support comes in many forms.  You can find support in your higher power or through a church or temple.  Pastors, priests, and rabbis can be a great source of spiritual strength and will often find time to meet with you individually.

Emotional Management

The ability to manage your emotions will be important throughout recovery.  All of us experience the highs and lows of life but we learn to cope.  Your emotions serve a purpose; however, if an emotion gets overwhelming, it can lead to relapse.  You might want to try writing your feelings in a journal or talking to a professional.  In recovery, getting too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired (HALT) can make us want to use or drink again.


A brief 10-15 minute walk can do wonders for you spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  A walk in nature can also help you to feel more in touch with your higher power and allow you time to breathe.  Exercise not only produces endorphins, which make us feel energized, but can improve your mood and help you to see things clearly.

One Day at a Time

This is a phrase used in 12-step meetings and should be taken to heart in your recovery.  There may be times when you start thinking about the future or what your life will look like post drug and alcohol use.  The focus in recovery should be the here and now.  Keep things simple and do not overwhelm yourself with thinking about what needs to be done outside of today.  Think only of what you need to do today to stay clean and sober.  Many individuals get into relapse “trouble” when they start thinking that everything needs to be changed now.  If you are new to recovery, take it slow and one day at a time.  After you have some time behind you, you can start making some longer-term goals.


Avalon Malibu provides the trusted programs with the trusted results you can count on. Offering residential treatment and a full continuum of care, we seek to heal mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for a confidential assessment and more information: (888) 958-7511

We will work with most out of network PPO and POS policies

Call to verify your insurance benefits today!