Having a plan to change your life is always a good idea. Like having a roadmap, you know where you’re starting from, where you’re headed, and how you’re going to get there. One such plan is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, also known as WRAP. It was developed by Mary Ellen Copeland and is now widely used around the world. WRAP was initially designed for those with mental illness. However, today it is used in a wide variety of challenges, including addiction. In addition to psychological illness and addiction, WRAP can be used for lifestyle challenges and experiences of trauma.

There are six major components of WRAP. They are described below in terms of using WRAP for sustaining sobriety.

  1. Create a Daily Maintenance Plan. This part of one’s sober living plan includes a clear description of yourself when you are well, a list of Wellness Tools needed on a daily basis in order to maintain wellness and sobriety, and a list of activities to participate in and/or things you might need to do on any given day.
  2. Identify Triggers. The second part of one’s sober living plan is to identify the triggers that jeopardize sobriety or your sense of well being if they occurred. Triggers might include an argument with a friend or not having the money to pay a large expense. When triggers occur, the next part of WRAP is learning to use Wellness Tools to manage this difficult time.
  3. Identify Early Warning Signs. Warning signs for relapse are those subtle experiences that let you know you are beginning to feel worse and that you might relapse. For the best sober living and recovery experience it’s important to know yourself well enough to know when you might be a risk for relapse.
  4. Know What to Do When Things Break Down. This part of WRAP is identify those signs that let you know you are feeling much worse. For instance, you might feel very sad much of the time or you might be hearing voices or you might have strong cravings to drink or use drugs.
  5. Use Your Crisis Plan. In this part of WRAP you identify those instances when others might need to take over responsibility for your care and decision making. You would identify who that person is in your life, and provide him or her with necessary health care information.
  6. Post Crisis Plan. After a crisis, this plan invites you to think about what you will need to recover from a major event. This could include taking time off work, spending time with friends or family who care, and resting more.

You might see how thorough this plan is. You might recognize that this plan is inviting you to think about the various circumstances that could lead to a crisis, such as a relapse, and plan ahead. Having a plan, as mentioned at the start, can keep you on course for success.

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