Since relapse is a frequent occurrence following treatment, most treatment facilities will have some form of relapse prevention education within the program. Relapse prevention is a process of identifying specific triggers, thoughts, and manifestations of urges (intention to use) and cravings (desire for positive effects of substances) before actual use occurs. Relapse prevention literature indicates that the relapse process can begin long before actual use, when a person falls back into old ways of thinking and behaving.

Viewing addiction as a biopsychosocial disease, relapse falls under the category of returning to the active stage. It is similar to other medical diseases in that the disease manifests itself again. However, given the psychological and social components of addiction, relapse can also be viewed as a return to ...

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