Relapse prevention PMC

Also, many studies that have examined potential mediators of outcomes have not provided a rigorous test [129] of mechanisms of change. These results suggest that researchers should strive to consider alternative mechanisms, improve assessment methods and/or revise theories about how CBT-based interventions work [77,130]. The empirical literature on relapse in addictions has grown substantially over the past decade.

As noted by the authors, the CBT studies evaluated in their review were based primarily on the RP model [29]. Overall, the results were consistent with the review conducted by Irvin and colleagues, in that the authors concluded that 58% of individuals who received CBT had better outcomes than those in comparison conditions. In contrast with the findings of Irvin and colleagues [36], Magill and Ray [41] found that CBT was most effective for individuals with marijuana use disorders. The AVE was introduced into the substance abuse literature within the context of the “relapse process” (Marlatt & Gordon, 1985, p. 37). Relapse has been variously defined, depending on theoretical orientation, treatment goals, cultural context, and target substance (Miller, 1996; White, 2007). It is, however, most commonly used to refer to a resumption of substance-use behavior after a period of abstinence from substances (Miller, 1996).

Abstinence Violation Effect/Limit Violation Effect

When abstinence violation occurs, individuals typically enter a state of cognitive dissonance, defined as an aversive experience resulting from the discrepancy created by having two or more simultaneous and inconsistent cognitions. Abstinence violators realize that their actions (e.g. “I drank”) do not line up with their personal goal (e.g. “I want to abstain”) and feel compelled to resolve the discrepancy. In this case, individuals try to explain to themselves why they violated their goal of abstinence. If the reason for the violation is attributed to internal, stable, and/or global factors, such as lack of willpower or possession of an underlying disease, then the individual is more likely to have a full-blown relapse after the initial violation occurs.

  • RP strategies can now be disseminated using simple but effective methods; for instance, mail-delivered RP booklets are shown to reduce smoking relapse [135,136].
  • Lapse management includes drawing a contract with the client to limit use, to contact the therapist as soon as possible, and to evaluate the situation for factors that triggered the lapse6.

Ecological momentary assessment, either via electronic device or interactive voice response methodology, could provide the data necessary to fully test the dynamic model of relapse19. The neurotransmitter serotonin has been the focus of considerable research in patients with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Laboratory studies have shown that patients with eating disorders often experience abnormal patterns of hunger and satiety over the course of a meal. Serotonin plays an important role in postingestive satiety, and appears to be important in regulation of mood and anxiety-related symptoms.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance use Disorders

These findings support that higher distal risk can result in bifurcations (divergent patterns) of behavior as the level of proximal risk factors increase, consistent with predictions from nonlinear dynamic systems theory [31]. Marlatt and Gordon’s (1985) model of the relapse process in addictive disorders has had a major impact in the field of relapse prevention since the late 1980s. Marlatt and Gordon postulate that newly abstinent patients experience a sense of perceived control up to the point at which they encounter a high-risk situation, which most commonly entails a negative emotional state, an interpersonal conflict, or an experience of social pressure.

  • The dynamic model of relapse assumes that relapse can take the form of sudden and unexpected returns to the target behavior.
  • In response to these limitations, we suggest future directions for AVE research in sexual offenders.
  • Additionally, the intervention had no effect on subjective measures of craving, suggesting the possibility that intervention effects may have been specific to implicit cognitive processes [62].
  • Thus, whereas tonic processes can determine who is vulnerable for relapse, phasic processes determine when relapse occurs [8,31].

The myths related to substance use can be elicited by exploring the outcome expectancies as well as the cultural background of the client. Following this a decisional matrix can be drawn where pros and cons of continuing or abstaining from substance are elicited and clients’ beliefs may be questioned6. Recent studies have also explored whether abnormalities in metabolic signals related to energy metabolism contribute to symptoms in the eating disorders. Several studies have suggested that patients with bulimia nervosa may have a lower rate of energy utilization (measured as resting metabolic rate) than healthy individuals.

Marlatt’s relapse prevention model: Historical foundations and overview

While no data on the effectiveness of this approach in preventing relapse exist to date, this appears to be a useful and stimulating conceptualization of relapse and relapse prevention that deserves further attention. One critical goal will be to integrate empirically supported substance use interventions in the context of continuing care models of treatment delivery, which in many cases requires adapting existing treatments to facilitate sustained delivery [140]. Given its focus on long-term maintenance of treatment gains, RP is a behavioral intervention that is particularly well suited for implementation in continuing care contexts. However, it is imperative that insurance providers and funding entities support these efforts by providing financial support for aftercare services. It is also important that policy makers and funding entities support initiatives to evaluate RP and other established interventions in the context of continuing care models. In general, more research on the acquisition and long-term retention of specific RP skills is necessary to better understand which RP skills will be most useful in long-term and aftercare treatments for addictions.

Abstinence Violation Effect and its role in Relapse Prevention Treatment

The AVE occurs when a client is in a high-risk situation and views the potential lapse as so severe, that he or she may as well relapse. The treatment is not lapse prevention; lapses are to be expected, planned for, and taken as opportunities for the client to demonstrate learning. Most often, relapse tends to be construed as a return to pretreatment levels of occurrence of the targeted behavior.

Considering the numerous developments related to RP over the last decade, empirical and clinical extensions of the RP model will undoubtedly continue to evolve. In addition to the recent advances outlined above, we highlight selected areas that are especially likely to see growth over the next abstinence violation effect several years. One of the most notable developments in the last decade has been the emergence and increasing application of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) for addictive behaviours. Shows a session by session cognitive-behavioural program for the treatment of pathological gamblers.

  • Oxford English Dictionary defines motivation as “the conscious or unconscious stimulus for action towards a desired goal provided by psychological or social factors; that which gives purpose or direction to behaviour.
  • However, recent studies show that withdrawal profiles are complex, multi-faceted and idiosyncratic, and that in the context of fine-grained analyses withdrawal indeed can predict relapse [64,65].
  • The “dynamic model of relapse” builds on several previous studies of relapse risk factors by incorporating the characterization of distal and proximal risk factors.
  • Approach coping may involve attempts to accept, confront, or reframe as a means of coping, whereas avoidance coping may include distraction from cues or engaging in other activities.
  • In order to understand AVE, it is important to realize the difference between a lapse and relapse.

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