Relapse Prevention in Addiction Treatment

The advantages of the reformulated AVE are described, as are the clinical implications. The role of attributions in abstinence, lapse, and relapse following substance abuse treatment. Have you ever made a determination to start a new habit and have you been able to stay 100% dedicated to it through the remainder of your life? (insert abstinence violation effect cricket sound…) Of course, if you are reading this then you are still living and cannot confirm nor deny the attainment of this goal. If you are like most people, you set a goal to establish some new behavior which can be performed consistently and probably have sometimes where you fall short of your idealized expectations.

  • Whether that slip provokes a return to full-blown addiction depends in large part on how the person regards the misstep.
  • is intended for educational purposes only and is not designed to provide medical advice of any kind.
  • Granted, not everyone who uses drugs develops SUD.
  • Although this is a common enough response, it is an impulse that psychologists, rehabilitation professionals, and treatment centers work hard to combat.

Attributions are made to try to resolve or justify the discrepancy. In this case, individuals try to explain to themselves why they violated their goal of abstinence.

Physical Relapse

Sometimes, “abstinence-based treatment” is used to refer to “drug free” treatment, with the ultimate goal of transitioning a person with substance misuse issues to stop using any drug. Marlatt is currently conducting studies of the latest version of his behavior-modification techniques — which he collectively calls “mindfulness-based relapse prevention” — in comparison with typical addiction treatment. His research, on alcohol and other drug abuse, isn’t completed yet, but he says, “We’re getting very positive results.”

abstinence violation effect

Because emotional relapse is so far beneath the surface, it can be incredibly difficult to recognize. It’s marked by feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness, and irritability. Of course, everyone experiences negative emotions at one point or another. These natural emotions don’t necessarily cause emotional relapse but how you cope with them. Not all addictions can be treated with abstinence, and it is not always possible or healthy to avoid certain behaviors for the long term.

Trait mindfulness and health behaviours: a meta-analysis

It should also teach a person how to stop the progression from a lapse into relapse. This model notes that those who have the latter mindset are proactive and strive to learn from their mistakes. To do so, they adapt their coping strategies to better deal with future triggers should they arise. This protects their sobriety and enhances their ability to protect themselves from future threats of relapse. Effect,” which results from a state of cognitive dissonance regarding the nonabstinent behavior and the individual’s image of being abstinent.