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How to Make an Addiction Recovery Plan

How to Make an Addiction Recovery Plan

Once you’ve completed drug or alcoholism treatment, it can be challenging to determine what the next step should be.

The transition from rehab to life on your own can be intimidating and concerning. While your treatment facility may assist you in establishing specific recovery goals, you may feel unsure of how to return to a life without drugs or alcohol on your own. Having a plan for recovery can help you overcome this uncertainty and stay on track with specific activities that all work towards the same goal: staying sober. Our drug rehab center in Gilman is sharing tips on how to make an addiction recovery plan that can help you sustain long-term sobriety.

Why Make a Personal Sobriety Plan?

Creating a personal sobriety plan, also called a personal action plan, for addiction recovery is important for several reasons. First, it gives you a step-by-step plan that you can follow. Having consistent guidance prevents you from hitting a recovery rut. Your recovery plan would also provide a structured set of ideas and activities that you can follow to keep you accountable. Discipline and accountability play major roles in staying sober. It can be easy to brush off commitments or procrastinate in addressing certain responsibilities. Developing an addiction recovery guide keeps you focused on the main goal by providing you with legitimate action steps that you need to take. This is especially helpful in times of stress or temptation, which are bound to occur in recovery.

The main benefits of creating an addiction recovery plan include:

  • Identifying common issues or temptations that need to be addressed
  • Identifying achievable recovery goals
  • Identifying realistic steps that you need to take to reach those goals
  • Reevaluating whether current daily activities align with your recovery goals
  • Tracking your progress and making adjustments as needed
  • Identifying triggers and finding ways to manage them properly

Creating an action plan for drug addiction or alcoholism recovery plays a role in relapse prevention. Banyan Treatment Centers Heartland offers additional resources for aftercare following rehab, including our relapse prevention program. This program assists members in identifying their specific triggers and finding ways to cope with them properly. Considering relapse prevention is one of the major goals in creating an addiction recovery plan, our program can be especially helpful to yourself or anyone you know who may be in recovery.

Tips on How to Make an Addiction Recovery Plan


Euphoria has become one of the most popular HBO shows about addiction. It depicts the role of drugs in high school and follows the lives of several teens as they experiment with drugs, alcohol, sex, and violence. Rue, the main character played by Zendaya, is the show’s narrator and a 17-year-old girl with drug addiction. The show depicts her struggles as she attempts to balance school, family, friends, and addiction. The show provides a generally accurate portrayal of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and the problems common to high school students that often lead to substance abuse.

Identify Your Goals

Before you begin writing out your action plan for recovery, you need to identify your major goals. What do you want to get out of this plan? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • Why do I want to make this change? Do I want to keep my job? Am I trying to reconnect with family or friends? Is it to improve my self-esteem or improve my physical health?
  • What are some major challenges I know I’ll come across? What are my current coping skills like? Do I have a solid support system such as a spouse, friends, or other family? Do I have any legal or financial issues I need to address right away?
  • Can I commit to this plan? Am I ready to take on a major change?

You have to be completely honest with yourself to create an effective recovery plan. Recovery is a step-by-step process that shouldn’t be taken lightly. This plan can help you build a solid foundation for a future of steadfast sobriety. In other words, don’t wing it.

Make a List of the Key Elements You Want to Address in Your Plan

When you’re finally ready to sit down and write out your plan, make a list of specific issues that you want to address. These issues can include:

  • Common triggers you should avoid (driving by a bar you used to go to)
  • Realistic strategies for addressing each trigger (taking a different route to avoid the bar)
  • Ways to incorporate self-care into your routine (go for daily walks, journal, listen to an audiobook or read, get good sleep, eat a good diet, etc.)
  • Coping skills you want to learn or work on (like anger management or staying calm when you’re stressed)
  • Practicing relapse prevention strategies (consistently attending support groups, having an accountability partner, attending addiction counseling, etc.)

Write Your Plan

Now that you’ve completed the previous steps, writing out your plan is just a matter of organizing everything. Below is an example of an addiction recovery plan that you can use when creating your own.

Addiction Recovery Plan

Personal triggers:

  • 1.Going to the bar after work with coworkers
  • 2.Hanging out with friends I used to drink with
  • 3.…
  • 4.…

How I can address each trigger:

  • 1.I will go straight home after work and take a route that avoids the bar
  • 2.I will make new friends or spend more time with sober friends
  • 3.…
  • 4.…

Ways I can practice self-care:

  • 1.I will go to bed at a certain time to make sure I get a full eight hours of sleep
  • 2.I will take a walk that’s at least 30 minutes long every day to give myself time to decompress and stay active
  • 3.…
  • 4.…

Emotional coping skills I want to learn:

  • 1.I will work on stress management by exercising at least three days a week
  • 2.I will start journaling every day to document how I’m feeling and why
  • 3.…
  • 4.…

Relapse prevention strategies I can practice:

  • 1.When I feel the urge to use or experience a craving, I will call my sponsor
  • 2.I will attend meetings at a 12-step program or alumni program every week (I won’t miss these meetings)
  • 3.…
  • 4....

Long-term goals I want to work towards:

  • 1.I will be sober for my next birthday
  • 2.…

Repercussions that can occur if I don’t commit to my recovery plan:

  • 1.If I fail to commit to my addiction recovery plan, I understand that I could lose my job
  • 2.…

This is just a recovery plan template that can help you get started. The number of goals, repercussions, and strategies you want to implement into your plan is up to you. When you do finish personalizing the template, sign it. This creates a binding contract with yourself that will encourage you to stay on track.

Recovery is a long journey, but it’s well worth it. If you or a loved one is ready to begin the recovery process, call Banyan Heartland now at 888-280-4763. Our drug and alcohol treatment in Gilman can help you turn your life around.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.