DIAGNOSIS: Substance-Use Disorders

TREATMENT: Group Relapse Prevention Therapy for Cocaine use Disorders


  • Basic premise: Among the psychosocial interventions, the Relapse Prevention (RP), cognitive-behavioural approach, is a strategy for reducing the likelihood and severity of relapse following the cessation or reduction of problematic behaviors (Menon & Kandasamy, 2018). The techniques used in the RP include 7 groups of strategies: psychoeducation, identification of high-risk situations for relapse, development of coping skills, development of new-life behaviors, increased self-efficacy, dealing with relapse and avoiding the abstinence violation effect, and drug and alcohol monitoring (Rawson, Obert, McCann, & Marinelli-Casey, 1993). Evidence-based trials show that RP is a treatment well-suited to abstinence maintenance and long-term functioning (Magill et al., 2019).


Schmitz, J. M., Oswald, L. M., Jacks, S. D., Rustin, T., Rhoades, H. M., & Grabowski, J. (1997). Relapse prevention treatment for cocaine dependence: group vs. individual format. Addictive Behaviors, 22(3), 405–418.

Carroll, K. M., Rounsaville, B. J., & Gawin, F. H. (1991). A comparative trial of psychotherapies for ambulatory cocaine abusers: relapse prevention and interpersonal psychotherapy. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 17(3), 229–247.

Wells, E. A., Peterson, P. L., Gainey, R. R., Hawkins, J. D., & Catalano, R. F. (1994). Outpatient treatment for cocaine abuse: a controlled comparison of relapse prevention and twelve-step approaches. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 20(1), 1–17.

Irvin, J. E., Bowers, C. A., Dunn, M. E., & Wang, M. C. (1999). Efficacy of relapse prevention: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67(4), 563–570.