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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

An exploration of relapse patterns among former poly-substance users

Alexandre Laudet, PhD, Center for the Study of Addictions and Recovery, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., 71 West 23rd Street, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010, 1-212-845-4520, Laudet@ndri.org and William L. White, MA, Chestnut Health Systems, 720 West Chestnut Street, Bloomington, IL 61701.

Although addiction is often conceptualized as a chronic disorde, most knowledge about the course and outcome of addiction comes from treatment evaluation studies that use short-follow-up periods and restricted samples. While relapse rates are high, there has been little exploration of relapse patterns or perceived reasons for relapse, particularly that occurring after some stable period of abstinence (e.g., 1 year or longer). Developing models of sustained recovery management that offset the costs of relapse to the individual and to society are contingent upon an understanding of the relapse process. This study examines relapse patterns, perceived reasons for relapse and self-identified lessons learned among former polysubstance users (N = 300) recruited through media ads in NYC. Participants had high lifetime dependence severity; primary substances were crack (56%), heroin (20%), cocaine (10%) and alcohol (9%). In preliminary data (N = 236), 67% of participants reported at least one period of a month or longer of total abstinence followed by relapse. The length of longest abstinence before relapse varied: 6 months (37%), one year (20%), 2 years (20%), 3 years or longer (23%). Relapse was significantly longer among subjects of younger age. Self-attributed reasons for relapse included: being with active users (31%), negative emotions and wanting to use/not wanting to stop. Reported lessons learned from relapse included: need to change life/friends/behavior (23%), using is not worth it/makes things worse (20%), I am an addict/no control (12%). Differences in reasons for relapse and lessons learned by length of previous abstinence will be examined.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: Drug Addiction, Recovery

Related Web page: www.ndri.org/ctrs/cstar/pathways.html

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Funded by NIDA Grant R01 DA14409 and by the Peter McManus Charitable Trust.
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Treatment Success and Aftercare

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA