Creating A Personal Recovery Plan


Creating a personal, written recovery plan is important because it gives a detailed, structured plan to follow with good ideas to stay on track for recovery goals. It’s a chance to take control and recognize situations that might lead to relapse - with a plan of action already in place.


A personal recovery plan can also be called a relapse prevention plan - it’s a plan that takes everything an individual has learned throughout the six weeks of outpatient treatment and puts it down on paper into a plan of action.


For example, a personal recovery plan should include:

  • 5 major triggers

  • 5 warning signs of a relapse

  • Self care hobbies

  • A support network

  • Mindfulness activities

  • Other skills and strategies that are unique to each individual that they have learned while in treatment.


Triggers & Warning Signs


Triggers are temptations that spark a craving for substance use. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, some of the most common triggers include people, places or things and can be physical, mental, or emotional.


At Care Addiction Center, we use the H.A.L.T acronym (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) as possible triggers, but triggers are unique to each individual and are uncovered through different therapeutic approaches while in addiction treatment.


When an individual encounters a trigger, there are behavioral warning signs that can be recognized. If recognized, they can be interrupted. Having a plan in place will help manage stress and cravings/urges when they arise. A few suggestions might be calling a trusted friend, family member, or sponsor, going to a meeting, or practicing mindfulness.


Self Care Hobbies


Having a healthy diet and exercising will help the body recover quicker from the negative impacts of substances. Getting some fresh air or taking a daily walk not only helps your body physically, but mentally as well. Yoga and meditation are also great ways to help improve and heal the mind and body.


Support Network


Who should be included in your support network list? Anyone that is supportive of your recovery. Ideally, some family, friends, and sponsor or meeting peers. It needs to be a wide array of individuals involving as many people as possible. The more you stay connected, the more you can benefit from their support. 


Mindfulness Activities


Practicing mindfulness helps by teaching an individual to be intentional, accepting their experience as it is, and living in the moment. Mentally and physically practicing mindfulness daily can improve your overall health. Some helpful activities include:

  • Practicing yoga

  • Guided Imagery Meditation

  • Mindful Eating

  • Body Scan

  • Mindful Breathing



Developing a personal recovery plan, or a relapse prevention plan will help individuals understand the importance of a new schedule with sober support, people, and places. This plan lets individuals establish goals and enact processes that can make it easier to stick to goals and maintain recovery.




If you or a loved one are struggling or need help for an addiction or alcohol problem, call us at: 630-402-0144



Care Addiction Center

1250 Executive Pl #301

Geneva, IL 60134

(630) 402-0144

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