Crafting a Prevention Plan

Creating a Relapse Prevention Plan2

Once you’ve identified your most common triggers, choose specific tools to beat each craving. These tools may include: reaching out to supportive friends or alcohol-free communities, practicing relaxation techniques like breathwork or meditation, exercise, physical comfort items like meditation beads or essential oils, writing gratitude lists, “playing the tape through,” and so much more. If you have a specific alcohol-free toolbox, include that in your Prevention Plan.


Another helpful section of a Prevention Plan is a portion identifying warning signs of an impending slip. If you have experienced a slip before, identify the behaviors, thoughts, and actions that led up to alcohol use. These often include isolating, romanticizing alcohol use, spending time with old friends you used to drink with, increased anxiety and/or depression, etc. Recognizing these signs early will empower you to activate your trusted alcohol-free practices.


In addition to creating a game plan to prevent a slip, this document should also include a section of dependable tools to help you course-correct if a return to alcohol use has occurred. 


Remember, this is a common and normal part of many alcohol-free journeys, and just as we build tools to prevent slips, we also build tools to get back on track. If a slip has happened, it is imperative to practice extra self-care and compassion. Include some of your most indulgent self-care practices—the practices that make you feel your very best—in this section, and double down on your tools of support.


Other positive pieces to include in your Prevention Plan include:

  • Goals for your alcohol-free life, health, relationships

  • Your “Why” - the reason(s) that you have chosen to remove alcohol from your life

  • A maintenance plan for self-care in daily life

  • Strategies for staying accountable to your plan

  • Specific communication tools for reaching out to friends or communities -  know if you will call, text, email, and what support you will request from them

Other positive pieces to include in your Relapse Prevention Plan include:

  • Goals for your sobriety, health, relationships

  • Your “Why” - the reason(s) that you have chosen sobriety

  • A maintenance plan for self-care in daily life

  • Strategies for staying accountable to your plan

  • Specific communication tools for reaching out to friends or communities