The July/August 2008 Addiction Professional has an interesting article on relapse prevention, written by Brian Duffy, LMHC, LADC-I. In the article, Duffy offers relapse prevention strategies to clinicians and those in recovery in relation to the top 6 triggers he’s seen in his decade-plus experience in the substance abuse treatment field.
Duffy’s 6 common triggers for relapse include money, romance, friends and family, forgetting where you came from, because I can, and emotional highs and lows. Some of his strategies include having a trusted friend or relative handle your money, abstaining from romantic relationships in the first year of sobriety, making sure you have an exit strategy at family events (like weddings), going to recovery meetings, calling your sponsor, and talking with others about your feelings.
According to Duffy, “Will power alone is no defense against relapse. Recovery is achieved, maintained, and enjoyed through a series of actions.” Read the full article “Preparing for common relapse triggers” for more relapse prevention tips for you or your clients.
For those in the Portland, ME area, Crossroads for Women holds an outpatient therapy group on relapse prevention. FMI, call 207.773.9931 or download a current list of outpatient therapy groups being offered.