Keeping safe from relapse

By not having a response plan for negative thoughts, feelings or situations you could be increasing the possibility, or likelihood, of a lapse occurring, or a lapse becoming a relapse.

Following these simple guidelines could help you to avoid the risk of a relapse:

  • DO talk yourself through the benefits of not having to use illicit drugs and/or alcohol, reminding yourself of the negative consequences a relapse will bring can be a useful method of controlling cue or trigger responses.
  • DO use any support networks that you have. Talking about your thoughts or feelings can increase your level of self awareness and your ability to avoid relapse.
  • DO plan ahead, avoid as many risky situations as possible, think about how you would like to respond to situations. TAKE CONTROL.
  • DO remember that you have the right to say NO. You do not have to use drugs or alcohol just because someone else wants you to. YOU HAVE CHOICES.
  • DO remember to reward yourself for remaining free of illicit drug or alcohol use, you have earned it. Remember you can have fun without taking risks.
  • DO remember the most important factor influencing your progress is YOU.


  • DO NOT react to challenging situations without thinking about the effect your actions might have on your stability.
  • DO NOT become complacent, staying in control is hard work. Relapses don’t just happen!
  • DO NOT visit places, meet people or place yourself in situations that you think could increase the risk of lapse or relapse.
  • DO NOT ignore your instincts, if you feel vulnerable, or at risk, try to remove yourself from the situation, better still PLAN AHEAD
  • DO NOT replace your original substance of choice with another. Always try to remain mindful of the risks this could present.
Read Jimmy's

I'm ever so grateful to Harbour for saving my life. You will never know just how grateful I am

Read full story