Drug and Alcohol Relapse Prevention Techniques

Drug and Alcohol Relapse Prevention Techniques


What are some good drug and alcohol relapse prevention techniques?  There is a lot of different suggestions out there and some of them are even conflicting, so it can be hard to know what to do in some cases.  Is relapse prevention different for adults versus teens?  Is one recovery program better than the others?  Is the 12 step program the only way to quality sobriety?  Is it worth it to go to counseling or therapy to help with long term sobriety?  And so on.

Basically, the idea of “relapse prevention” is just a buzzword that puts a clinical spin on the mechanics of staying clean and sober.  Most people advocate a “toolbox” approach to relapse prevention, and suggest that addicts and alcoholics use various “tools” to help them with their recovery, such as 12 step meetings, counseling, therapy, group therapy, sponsorship, and so on.  The idea is that if the recovering addict can draw from all of these various tools, then they will increase their chances of staying clean and sober in the long run.

If the toolbox strategy is a combination of tactics for staying clean, then we still need an overall strategy for implementing those tactics.  In my opinion, most people drop the ball in early recovery because they do not follow through with the basics of staying sober.  Therefore, I think the best strategy for early recovery is to use massive action and overwhelming force.  These 2 concepts can be used to propel someone successfully through early recovery, and lay the foundation for long term sobriety.

How are these strategies used?  Very simple….you take what works and you focus on it.  So long term treatment and living in a rehab for a year is an example of overwhelming force.  Most people would argue that they don’t need that much help to stay sober.  Turns out that many people actually do.

Going to 3 meetings every day for the first 90 days is an example of massive action.  You could probably go to just one a day or even less, and you could still go to 3 per day and fake like you are actually paying attention I suppose.  But if you take massive action and actually participate and get involved, then you’re going to get great results.

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Too many people try to work a recovery by putting in only a modest effort.  A modest effort is a shortcut to relapse.  Massive action will keep you sober.  Nothing less will work.  So good relapse prevention strategies need to be grounded in these principles.

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