Tag Archives: relapse

One Member Shares His Experience of a Near Relapse

One of our members faced a tough time in his recovery. His recovery was challenged by someone who came to his home with the intention of selling a substance to him. Listen in to this opiate recovery podcast as they give support to this member. They walk through a process to better understand the situation and develop a relapse prevention plan.

Discussion Guide:

Describe a situation that caused, or nearly caused, a relapse.

What was your intention at the time? What did you want to have happen?

What was your belief about the situation? What were the automatic thoughts that came to your mind? Can you identify faulty thinking?

What were your feelings? What emotions caused you be vulnerable at the time?

What was, or could have been, the negative effect of a relapse to yourself? To others?

What is your prevention plan? Identify the steps you will take to avoid a future relapse.


Those Darned Emotions

Relapses are often a result of poorly handled emotions. Alcohol, drugs or addictive behaviors used to provide temporary relief from those feelings, but recovery provides an opportunity to learn new coping skills. Addicts need effective ways of tolerating, managing and making sense of the negative feelings encountered in daily life. Listen in to this group of people in recovery discuss their emotions.

Discussion Guide:

Complete the sentences using the following emotions: Shame, Love, Anger, Sadness, Fear, Grief, Anxiety, Embarrassment

What I learned as a child about (fill in the emotion) is.

How I came to cope with (fill in the emotion) is.

What I now know about (fill in the emotion) is.

How I cope now with (fill in the emotion) is.

Which feelings are the easiest for you to manage?

Which feelings are the hardest for you to manage?

Supplemental Resources:

Communication Technique to deal with intense emotion: (complete the sentence)

1. I notice that (state the facts of the upsetting event in a neutral way).

2. My vulnerable emotion is (state the feelings that underlie anger).

3. My request is (what would you like to have happen in this situation).

The Emotional Barometer, Bright Futures Treatment Center, http://blog.brightfuturestreatment.com/substance-abuse/relapse-prevention-emotional-barometer/

Top 11 Reasons for Relapse

There are a million and one reasons why people who struggle with an addiction relapse. They can be categorized into 11 reasons. Listen to a group of people in recovery from opiate addiction discuss their reasons for having relapsed in the past.

Discussion Guidelines:

Here's a list of eleven common reasons for relapsing:

  1. Grief and Loss
  2. Environment (housing, finances, unemployment, drugs)
  3. Reward
  4. Relationships with Drug Users
  5. Overwhelming Stress
  6. Abuse or Trauma
  7. Pain Relief (withdrawal symptoms, emotional or physical pain)
  8. Drinking (can lower inhibitions)
  9. Revenge (oppositional defiance)
  10. Not Being Fully Committed
  11. Self-Sabotage

What were your reasons for relapsing in the past?

What might cause you to relapse in the future?

Do you have a relapse prevention plan?

In what ways can you further develop your prevention plan?

Which of these eleven reasons might cause early relapse and premature drop-out from treatment?

Supplemental Reading:

Common Relapse Triggers, Alcohol Rehab

Terence Gorski, How To Develop A Relapse Prevention Plan

Setting Goals and Achieving Milestones Can Prevent Relapse

Each day of sobriety is an important victory. Early in recovery, you count the days that you’ve been drug free. But in middle stages of recovery, the excitement wears off.  Achieving drug abstinence is only the first step in recovery. The next step is to rebuild a stable and fully functioning life. Setting goals and achieving milestones can keep you motivated.

Discussion Guide:

Do you count your days of sobriety?

Did you become stagnated in your recovery process?

Do you mark sobriety milestones with a symbol of celebration such as a medallion, chip or pin?

Once you reached a period of sobriety, did you have difficulty attaining the next level of functioning in your life, such as rebuilding a stable life?

What are your talents, passions and skills? Do you know your personality traits and core values? These form the basis of your life goals.

Supplemental Reading:

The World Needs You To Do What You Love, by Arina Nikitina http://www.goal-setting-guide.com/the-world-needs-you-to-do-what-you-love/

Credit and appreciation is given to author, Jason M. S. for his article “The Importance of Setting Goals and Milestones”. However, his identification is withheld for purposes of confidentiality.