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 Relapse Prevention - Using Sponsors & Reaching Out

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Talking to sponsors, caring and supportive friends, a therapist, counselor, or other helping professionals, before you take a drink or use a drug is an important tool in relapse prevention. A recurring theme in Twelve Step groups is that we can do together what we could not do by ourselves. 

By going to meetings, using the telephone, and participating in recovery related events, we build a network of support. A network of supportive friends and caring individuals who know us well enough to give us honest feedback and constructive support. We begin to learn to trust. We learn that asking for feedback and support is a very good thing. It helps to have regular social contact with other recovering people.

We don't limit reaching out only to our Twelve Step Fellowship. We utilize our doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, and other professional helpers. Developing comfortable working relationships with these people is a healthy part of taking care of ourselves. As we identify and list the various warning signs to lapses and flare-ups of our dual no-fault illnesses, we can learn to reach out and share our concerns and needs in a timely manner that may head off larger problems.


Nothing is so bad that a drink won't make it worse.

Learning to cope with our feelings in new and constructive ways is an important part of dual recovery. Many of us use to drink or use drugs when certain feelings came up. By talking with other recovering people and our helping professionals about our feelings we can learn new ways to deal with them. We can begin to heal. We can get the support we need to identify and understand our feelings and express them in healthy positive ways.


Sponsors are DRA members who are clean and sober and have practical experience living the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions to the best of their ability. They are willing to share their recovery experience with other members of the Fellowship and are committed to dual recovery. Sponsors can help guide us around some of the common stumbling blocks of early recovery and give us their perspective on working the Steps and other recovery issues. Sponsors are someone you trust and respect in the Fellowship who has experience and can often help to see a new solution to problems that could not be seen previously.

By working with other members of DRA and sharing their experience, strength and hope, sponsors continually renew and reaffirm their own recovery. Sponsors share their program up to the level of their own experience. They do not demand that other's work the Steps or program exactly the same way they do. Instead they help us find our own solutions and develop our own personal plan for recovery by sharing their experience.

Back to Relapse Prevention

Preventing Relapse Main Page
A few common tools that sustain recovery and help in times of crisis are:
Journaling our progress in recovery
Meetings, attending DRA and other 12 Step support meetings
The telephone, reaching out
Prayer and meditation  seeking guidance

Reading recovery books and literature

A plan of action, a written list of things to do when sudden cravings strike or symptoms increase
  Additional forms and lists that can help us to build a personal relapse prevention plan
Relaxation techniques
Service work, helping others
The Steps, the basis of our recovery
Talking to sponsors, caring advisors, and recovering friends
Recovery slogans
First Things First  
This Too Shall Pass  
One Day At A Time  
Easy Does It  
Keep It Simple  
Live And Let Live  
The Serenity Prayer
Today I will do one thing
More Slogans 


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