There are some very thorough and well tested relapse prevention programs and resources available to us these days.  In my research, I have found that most all of them share some variation of the following ideas in common:

  1. Relapse is possible, and does happen.
  2. Recognizing signs of relapse behavior is critical to preventing relapse.
  3. Creating a Relapse Prevention Plan is the responsible thing to do for someone in any kind of recovery who desires to maintain a harm-free life.
  4. Getting assistance from an experienced sober companion in the return to a life of harm-free living, including relapse prevention planning, is associated with lower relapse occurrences.
  5. Creating specific strategies for dealing with any potential relapse occurring events is essential.
  6. If relapse should occur, do not give up and start over, continue working with the support team, ie; sober companion, therapist, psychiatrist, and/or sponsor, to determine the best course of action to stabilize the recovery process.

A great way to show support to your clients during this holiday season could be to provide them with some Relapse Prevention Tools.  Check out the following websites for insights into relapse-inducing factors, relapse prevention treatment and plans, relapse prevention models, and more.  This could be the time of year where providing a Sober Companion for your client could make all the difference in his or her joyful holiday season experience!

Handling Relapse-Inducing Factors:  The SEA’s Tools for a Recovery Lifestyle

Stages of Change Model by Mark F. Kern, Ph.D

Relapse Prevention Treatment:  Counselor’s Manual for Relapse Prevention

Relapse Prevention Planning:  Relapse factors, warning signs, relapse prevention action plan