Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Strategies to Avoid Relapse

Strategies to Avoid Relapse

  • 'Encourage client to identify tempting situations and develop a specific plan to handle them (e.g., write down three strategies and carry this list at all times).
  • Reframe a lapse (slip) as a learning opportunity, not a failure.

Recommend that the client:

  • Learn stress management and relaxation techniques;
  • Learn to balance lifestyle so that pressures and triggers are not overwhelming.

Common Factors Associated with Relapse:

  • Alcohol use
  • Negative mood or depression
  • Negative self-talk
  • Other smokers in household
  • Prolonged withdrawal symptoms
  • Exposure to high-risk situations, such as social situations, arguments, and other sources of stress
  • Dietary restriction
  • Lack of cessation support
  • Problems with pharmacotherapy, such as under-dosing, side effects, compliance or premature discontinuation
  • Recreational drug abuse
Addiction and Mental Health
Integrating Smoking Cessation into Daily Nursing Practice
Point of Care Resources