Relapse Prevention RP MBRP Recovery Research Institute

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Remember the embarrassing things you may have done or the people you may have hurt. It’s important to remember that no matter how strong relapse prevention skills your willpower is, you can’t fight relapse by yourself. Instead, learn to accept help from supportive family and friends when needed.

Development and Psychometric Properties of a health-promoting … – BMC Public Health

Development and Psychometric Properties of a health-promoting ….

Posted: Tue, 28 Feb 2023 08:00:00 GMT [source]

The results often inform contingency management programs (discussed above) of drug tests. Also, the use of some medications (i.e., buprenorphine and methadone) require periodic drug screens to ensure the individual is not diverting the medication or using other substances of abuse. Lastly, even in the absence of explicit consequences for alcohol or drug use, knowing they may be subject to testing provides a measure of deterrence against relapses for some individuals. One primary concern in addiction treatment is the high rate of relapses within a short period after even the most intensive treatment. More broadly speaking, I believe that recovering individuals need to learn to feel comfortable with being uncomfortable.


Peer recovery coaches are individuals who have experienced addiction themselves but have been abstinent for an extended period (often at least one or two years). Peer recovery coaches complete approximately 40 hours of training in addition to a minimum number of hours of work in the field to obtain certification. For example, in the Mid-west, individuals can train in a program that emphasizes Native American values and traditions with the intention that they will be able to offer more effective support to other Native Americans. Experts in the field commonly hold that the abstinence stage starts as soon as the individual ceases their use and may continue for one or two years. During this stage, the primary concerns of the patient are often coping with their cravings and avoiding relapses. But clients and families often begin recovery by hoping that they don’t have to change.

Then, the patient and clinician work to develop strategies, including cognitive (related to thinking) and behavioral (related to action), to address those specific high-risk situations. With more effective coping, the patient develops increased confidence to handle challenging situations without alcohol and other drugs (i.e., increased self-efficacy). One of the most critical predictors of relapse is the individual’s ability to utilize effective coping strategies in dealing with high-risk situations. Coping is defined as the thoughts and behaviours used to manage the internal and external demands of situations that are appraised as stressful. Moreover, people who have coped successfully with high-risk situations are assumed to experience a heightened sense of self-efficacy4.

Behavioral Couples Therapy (BCT)

The various forms of therapy share many common elements, and a combination of different approaches are useful for an individual. Researchers and practitioners have identified multiple steps which help to explain the progression of many individuals through the process of recovery. During a mental relapse, the patient has an internal struggle between the desire to resume using and the desire to remain abstinent. Twelve-step groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Marijuana Anonymous (MA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Gamblers Anonymous (GA), and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA). Every country, every town, and almost every cruise ship has a 12-step meeting.

relapse prevention skills

Sometimes people relapse because, in their eagerness to leave addiction behind, they cease engaging in measures that contribute to recovery. Recovery is a process of growth and (re)establishing a sustainable life. Experts in addiction recovery believe that relapse is a process that occurs somewhat gradually; it can begin weeks or months before picking up a drink or a drug. Moreover, it occurs in identifiable stages, and identifying the stages can help people take action to prevent full-on relapse.

Follow up on the Plan for the Duration of the Case

Many individuals in both the healthcare system and the larger society focus on relapse in terms of the consumption of the alcohol or drug that has been problematic for the individual. However, consumption is the very last step in the relapse, and neglecting earlier events in a relapse prevents more effective intervention at earlier stages. To understand the importance of self-care, it helps to understand why most people use drugs and alcohol.

relapse prevention skills