DIAGNOSIS: Substance-Use Disorders

TREATMENT: Group Relapse Prevention Therapy for Opioids Use Disorder


  • 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. 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. Evidence-based trials show that RP is a treatment well-suited to abstinence maintenance and long-term functioning.



Relapse prevention (Marlatt and Gordon)

Relapse prevention: Maintenance strategies in the treatment of addictive behaviors, 2nd ed. (Marlatt and Donovan (Eds), 2005)


Relapse prevention workbook for recovering alcoholics and drug dependent persons (5th ed.) (Daley, 2009)

Recovery training and self help: a relapse-prevention program for treated opiate addicts (McAuliffe and Ch'ien, 1986)

Therapist's guide to evidence-based relapse prevention (Witkiewitz and Marlatt (Eds), 2007)


Group treatments for addiction (CEU Matrix, 2010; Daley and Douaihy, 2011)

Substance abuse treatment: group therapy (SAMHSA, 2005/2015)

Group therapy in substance use treatment (SAMHSA)

Clinical report series: Relapse prevention (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1994)

Relapse prevention worksheets (Vivyan, 2009)

Relapse prevention plan (version 2) (, 2014)


Maarefvand, M., Eghlima, M., Rafiey, H., Rahgozar, M., Tadayyon, N., Deilamizadeh, A., & Ekhtiari, H. (2015). Community-based relapse prevention for opiate dependents: a randomized community controlled trial. Community Mental Health Journal, 51(1), 21–29.

Magill, M., Ray, L., Kiluk, B., Hoadley, A., Bernstein, M., Tonigan, J. S., & Carroll, K. (2019). A meta-analysis of cognitive-behavioral therapy for alcohol or other drug use disorders: Treatment efficacy by contrast condition. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 87(12), 1093–1105.

McAuliffe W. E. (1990). A randomized controlled trial of recovery training and self-help for opioid addicts in New England and Hong Kong. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 22(2), 197–209.

Min, Z., Xu, L., Chen, H., Ding, X., Yi, Z., & Mingyuang, Z. (2011). A pilot assessment of relapse prevention for heroin addicts in a Chinese rehabilitation center. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 37(3), 141–147.