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Role of Social Support in Relapse Prevention for Drug Addicts



Addiction is a behavioural and psychological disorder that can cause unprecedented social, mental, and physiological effects. A patient’s neighbourhood, peers, family members, and spouse, play crucial roles in relapse prevention. The main disadvantage of traditional addiction treatments includes their lack of focus on how an individual’s environmental factors may impact on relapse prevention. Despite the design and execution of rehabilitative and preventive programs in place to address addiction issues, the number of patients with this disorder continues to increase. The most affected addict populations are those who had stopped using drugs. The primary objectives of this paper include analys ing the significance of social support in preventing relapse. Specifically, this paper will examine drug abuse and relapse in general, addiction as a psychological issue, benefits of social support in preventing relapse, the role of received or perceived social support, and the advantages of online peer networks in avoiding relapse. The review will also provide recommendations for future research in this field, to reduce the prevalence of drug and substance abuse and relapse. Keywords: Social support, Relapse prevention, Drug addicts, Addiction, Drug abuse. (PDF) Role of Social Support in Relapse Prevention for Drug Addicts. Available from: [accessed Jul 24 2020].
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change.
Volume 13, Issue 1, 2020
Role of Social Support in Relapse
Prevention for Drug Addicts
Uzma Zaidia, aCollege of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Princess
Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Saudi Arabia, Email:
Addiction is a behavioural and psychological disorder that can cause
unprecedented social, mental, and physiological effects. A patient’s
neighbourhood, peers, family members, and spouse, play crucial roles
in relapse prevention. The main disadvantage of traditional addiction
treatments includes their lack of focus on how an individual’s
environmental factors may impact on relapse prevention. Despite the
design and execution of rehabilitative and preventive programs in
place to address addiction issues, the number of patients with this
disorder continues to increase. The most affected addict populations
are those who had stopped using drugs. The primary objectives of this
paper include analysing the significance of social support in
preventing relapse. Specifically, this paper will examine drug abuse
and relapse in general, addiction as a psychological issue, benefits of
social support in preventing relapse, the role of received or perceived
social support, and the advantages of online peer networks in avoiding
relapse. The review will also provide recommendations for future
research in this field, to reduce the prevalence of drug and substance
abuse and relapse.
Keywords: Social support, Relapse prevention, Drug addicts, Addiction, Drug abuse.
Addiction as a Psychological Issue
Addiction can cause unprecedented social, psychological, and physiological effects for the
affected individuals. According to Nikmanesh, Baluchi, and Motlagh (2017), drug addiction
is a medical issue, which requires secondary and primary interventions. From a psychiatric
perspective, initial prevention measures include providing information concerning potential
economic, psychological, and physical problems associated with drug abuse. Later, secondary
prevention, including follow-up therapeutic tests, may be initiated to avoid relapse.
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Nikmanesh et al. (2017) defined the self-belief model as “a cognitive-motivational force that
determines the individuals’ appropriate coping level when his/her skills and abilities are
under pressure. Poor self-efficacy beliefs divest the individuals’ problem-solving ability”.
Self-efficacy can be used to predict treatment improvements and outcomes among addiction
patients. According to Kim et al. (2015), people who demonstrate high self-efficacy are less
likely to relapse compared to patients with low self-efficacy. These findings were, however,
denied by Nashee, Amjad, Rafique, and Naz (2014), who reported a negative correlation
between drug dependence and self-efficacy.
Drug Abuse and Relapse
Drug abuse is an enduring and chronic lifestyle disorder that presents a challenging
healthcare issue. Drug addiction causes psychiatric, mental, and physical impacts on
communities, families, and individuals. The treatment of drug addiction and relapse
prevention includes the establishment of Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT)
facilities, especially for heroin addicts. In an investigation to determine the success rate of
MMT centres in managing addiction and relapse, Kassani, Niazi, Hassanzadeh, and Menati
(2015) revealed that the treatment success rates of addicts in these centers were different.
Previously, a survey showed a six-month retention rate of about 23%, which often required
overtime treatment(p. 23402). While drug and substance abuse researchers view the
condition as a chronic ailment, relapse is considered a phase in addiction recovery (U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, 2019).
Kassani et al. (2015) revealed that even though methadone treatment was effective in treating
drug addiction, improving the quality of life, and reducing the inclination to commit a crime,
it was mostly ineffective in preventing relapse. The main factors associated with drug reuse
are related to a patient's physiological, environmental, and individual factors. Kassani et al.
(2015) also noted that an individual's demographic variables, mental instabilities, economic
factors, lack of family support, and interpersonal conflicts might also influence drug and
substance reuse after treatment. The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT, 2014)
emphasised the impact of family in enabling an addiction patient to cope with lifestyle
changes within the course of treatment and beyond. The CSAT (2014) stated that family
therapy focusses on the physical and emotional interdependence between related members,
which can be used to enable an addict to overcome mental and physical challenges, which
may initiate relapse urges. According to Alvarez, Fabrero, Tanyag, and Orbon (2017), the
time an addict spends struggling with their emotions determines whether or not they would
relapse. Similarly, people with inadequate job skills working in high-risk job environments
were more likely to deteriorate. Additional factors that increased the probability of relapse
include fallouts among family members and untreated psychiatric symptoms among addicts.
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In examining the association between drug abuse and relapse, Kassani et al. (2015) found
“The relationship between mental disorders and drug abuse relapse after treatment may be bi-
directional, before relapse, coping with persistent psychiatric symptomatology, and an
increase in the intensity of symptomatology can affect the risk of drug abuse relapse.
Additionally, the relapse risk of drug abuse may differ by the types of psychiatric symptoms
experienced. The relapse after treatment can influence psychiatric symptomatology (p.
The issue of relapse prevention has also been extensively discussed by Melemis (2015), who
stated that drug and substance abusers who seek professional help have tried to control their
addictions on their own. According to Melemis (2015), relapse prevention should be founded
on four underlying assumptions that include relapse perceived as progressive phenomena
among therapists, counselors, and psychologists; risks of relapse; changing one's thinking
through how to cope with their addiction; and enabling of the patient. Melemis (2015) further
categorises relapse into three broad groups, including physical, mental, and emotional
relapse. Understanding these categories of relapse can enable both patients and clinicians to
realise the role of their social support systems in helping them avoid drug and substance
reuse. According to Melemis (2015), the first symptoms of emotional relapse include
irregular sleep patterns, poor eating habits, concentrating on issues affecting other people,
avoiding focussed group meetings in which drug use problems are discussed, social isolation,
and bottling up emotions. The most common sign of emotional relapse is poor physical,
psychological, and emotional self-care.
Addiction therapists have incorporated aspects of social care to prevent emotional relapse.
For instance, by enabling a client's family to understand the importance of providing a
healthy diet and a hygienic sleeping place to reforming drug and substance abusers. A basic
reminder of a patient's need for healthcare is HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired),
which Melemis (2015) applies to determine the type of self-care that an addicted patient
requires to prevent relapse. Thus, families and friends can engage addict patients in enjoyable
social activities to enable clients to cope with their psychological trauma and feelings of
isolation. These findings indicate the need to identify the role of social factors in addiction
treatment and relapse prevention, which forms the primary goal of this analysis.
Role of Social Support in Preventing Relapse
Social support has been confirmed to be a fundamental aspect of the drug addiction recovery
and relapse prevention processes. Nevertheless, little scientific research has been conducted
to establish how social support impacts drug abuse treatment and engagement. Horvath,
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Misra, Epner, and Cooper (2019a) defined social support in addiction treatment as a
beneficial and powerful tool. Horvath et al. (2019a) noted that social support created a sense
of inclusion, security, belongingness, and safety for patients. According to Horvath et al.
(2019b), there are different types of social groups, including the self-empowering social
support system. Addiction patients involved in appropriate social groups could adequately
cope with their psychological issues, discovered their life’s purpose and meaning, developed
an optimistic perspective, and appropriately dealt with shame.
A patient’s family can demonstrate support for an addict's path to recovery by offering
concrete assistance, such as driving someone to a doctor’s appointment or taking care of their
children as they seek professional assistance. Family members can also buy an addicted
patient treatment and recovery books or help patients navigate through addiction recovery
websites to enable them to understand the stages involved in their care. Horvath et al. (2019a)
add that social support “shines the light on things that may have contributed to the addiction
developing in the first place: shame, secrecy, and isolation” (n. p). Disclosing inner battles or
emotional torture is fundamental in attaining a quick and successful recovery. Addiction
patients can also share their secrets with psychotherapists, only if they get an assurance of
Atadokht, Hajloo, Karimi, and Narimani (2015) noted that addiction is a behavioural and
psychological disorder that is characterised by an inclination to use and reuse chemical
substances. A patient’s neighbourhood, peers, family members, and spouse play crucial roles
in drug addiction recovery (Kelly et al., 2010). The main disadvantage of traditional addiction
treatments includes their lack of focus on how an individual’s environmental factors may
impact their drug use. According to information by Atadokht et al. (2015), the number of
people suffering from drug addiction has risen to 190 million; a figure that is predicted to
increase over the coming four decades. Despite the design and execution of rehabilitative and
preventive programs in place to address addiction issues, the number of patients with this
disorder continues to increase.
Friends/Peer Group
Torrecillas, Cobo, Delgado, and Ucles (2015) argued that social support refers to a concept in
which a drug addict shares his or her problems with close friends and relatives to find
amicable solutions. As defined by Nikmanesh et al. (2017), social support is “the strangest
device to cope with chronic illness and tensions that make it humble and easy to encounter
the problems”. The previous findings by Kelly et al. (2010) established that effective
treatment and rehabilitation rely on the quality of a patient’s interpersonal relationships.
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change.
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Patients who reported having united and supportive families also had little mental,
psychological, and substance abuse issues after commencing their treatment. The most
affected addict populations are those who had stopped using drugs. Atadokht and colleagues
(2015) have identified relapse as a crucial factor in the addiction recovery process. These
findings indicate the need to identify the role of social factors in addiction treatment and
relapse prevention, which forms the primary goal of this analysis.
Kelly et al. (2010) noted that the degree of neighbourhood deviance might impact a patients’
perceptions of the degree of support provided by their immediate family and the community
at large. According to Kelly and colleagues (2010), “communities that are characterized by
higher rates of deviance such as drug use and crime often lack the informal social
control structures that are essential for maintaining public order” (p. 44). Community
members who demonstrate a desire to maintain law and order may fear to interact with
criminals and substance abusers, therefore a willingness to support addiction treatment and
rehabilitation processes. Communities, where crime is rampant, may lack appropriate clinical
infrastructures to fight increasing drug use.
Spiritual Support
The impact of social support in controlling substance abuse and preventing relapse is also
discussed by Atadokht et al. (2015). In their perspective, the presence of supportive social
networks, interventions, and structures play fundamental roles in promoting the goals of
treatment and ensuring relapse prevention. Moreover, the provision of adequate spiritual
support can enable addicts to form objective healthcare goals, and subsequently, sustain drug
and substance abstinence. Anecdotal evidence by Tuliao (2008) showed that there is an 80–
90 per cent chance of relapse among patients without a stable social support system.
Regardless of the efficiency of treatment, environmental and familial factors are crucial in
offering patient’s motivation.
Emotional Support Though Social Network
The investigators also examined patients’ emotional expressions by measuring their tolerance
and attitudes. The researchers discovered that if a client's family constantly demonstrated
their confidence in a patient's ability to adhere to the treatment regimen, then the addict was
more likely to follow through with the proposed medications and therapy. Most importantly,
patients can form their own social networks through online addiction platforms if they feel
their family and friends do not provide the necessary emotional and physical support. Mericle
(2014) suggests that addicts who are socially engaged in community practices do not suffer
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from mental distress and lead healthier lives. Social factors promote ongoing sobriety and
facilitate entry into treatment programs. Understanding the importance of social networks
prior to substance abuse can encourage the development of intervention and prevention
strategies aimed at reducing the burden associated with addiction.
Social Support Organisations
Kelly, Stout, Greene, and Slaymaker (2014) stated that social support organisations,
including Alcoholics Anonymous, provide psychological support for individuals suffering
from Substance Use Disorder. Further clinical investigations among adult addicts confirm
that participating in social groups improves drug addiction treatment, through encouraging
socialisation among the addiction patients. Nevertheless, 12-step Mutual Help Organisations
(MHOs) play even more structured mental and physical assistance compared to non-
professional social support systems, which are not sobriety-conducive.
Brooks et al. (2017) conclude by stating that barriers or complexities affecting the recovery
from drug addiction treatment can be resolved through enhancing a patient’s perceived social
support. In their analysis, Brooks and colleagues (2017) stated that emotional and
instrumental social support were the most common forms of support provided by drug
addiction psychotherapists. It is important for therapists to concentrate on assisting people in
choosing the right social contexts or environments that support healing. Moreover,
elaborating on the significance of social support in recovery for both patients and their
families can shed light on the clients’ unique needs, while guiding psychotherapists and
clinicians on the appropriate techniques of patients’ engagement for continued sobriety.
Role of Online Social Support Networks in Addiction Treatment
Online support networks have been identified as important in defining operational norms
within particular settings. Bliuc, Doan, and Best (2018) found that positive recovery
outcomes, as it concerns online addiction intervention studies, are influenced by the types of
social interactions that people have. The prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse disorder
documented by Ashford, Brandon, John, and Brenda (2019) requires the implementation of
additional social support infrastructures to cater for the growing number of people suffering
from Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and addiction. In reference to a research study by the
National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), Ashford and colleagues (2019)
approximated that “19.7 million individuals aged 12 or older had an alcohol or drug use
disorder (i.e., substance use disorder, alcohol use disorder, opioid use disorder, etc.), yet few
received specialty SUD treatment (2.5 million individuals), and less received non-specialty
treatment (i.e., attended mutual aid programs;1.5 million individuals” (p. 2). The
investigators confirmed that individuals who did not receive face-to-face addiction treatment
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were likely to relapse. Preventing drug and substance reuse through online support groups is
a viable option considering that most adults own smartphones, tablets, cellphones, and
computers. These telecommunication devices can easily be accessed for educational
purposes. Digital platforms may provide the convenience required to attend routine
professional obligations, while sharing with other individuals attending online forums.
Reardon (2010) corroborates the finding by Kelly et al. (2014), concerning the significance of
incorporating digital devices and social networking platforms to improve addiction treatment
and relapse prevention outcomes.
Future Research
The treatment of addiction had achieved limited success since there are inadequate preventive
care services. The lack of preventive measures is associated with an increase in the rate of
relapse. Thus, contemporary treatment methods must consider drug addiction as a social,
psychological, and physiological disorder. The social, psychological, physiological, and
economic impacts of drug and substance abuse are wide-ranging, especially for the affected
individuals. From a psychological perspective, initial prevention measures include providing
information concerning the potential economic, psychological, and physical problems
associated with drug abuse. Later, secondary prevention, including follow-up therapeutic
sessions, may be initiated to avoid relapse. More importantly, investigators must look into the
possible negative impacts of social support, which have been documented by Nashee and
colleagues (2014), who reported a negative correlation between drug dependence and self-
efficacy. Additionally, future investigations on the significance of social support should
differentiate between the types of relapse, in order to formulate appropriate treatments for
addiction patients.
This review article has discussed the various aspects critically involved in the prevention of
relapse among drug addicts. The relapse prevention literature within the last two decades
revealed various support systems. For instance, fully knowledgeable families, peer groups,
and communities can prove to be good support systems against relapse. Spiritual, emotional,
and social support organisations were also found as good resources. Moreover, social media
has brought people together, particularly marginalised populations, who may not be
comfortable meeting in public settings. These factors confirm that both digital and physical
social support are effective in creating a sense of purpose for drug addicts and reducing
feelings of social isolation.
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This research was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research at Princess Nourah bint
Abdulrahman University through the Fast-track Research Funding Program.
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... According to the General Statistics Office, workers with informal jobs, workers without contracts, low-income workers, young workers, and elderly workers are the most vulnerable groups due to the pandemic of Covid-19. The results of the Labor and Employment Survey in the first quarter of 2020 showed that the labor force participation rate is the lowest in the past 10 years. Unemployment has increased, the underemployment rate of working-age workers is at the highest level in the last 5 years. ...
... Base on those findings of difficulties and challenges of drug addicts in the context of Covid 19, it raises a big question that how could we help drug addicts to deal with such complex problems effectively? Findings from researches show that social support is a good tool (Sharon M, 2010) and could be an effective intervention in this context (Uzma Z, 2020), (Hai N., Lien N., Bich D, 2019). So things below would discuss the role of the social support worker in helping drug addicts in the context of Covid-19. ...
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Up until now, not many studies have been done to identify family conflict that occurs among former drug addicts in the rehabilitation period. If not being handled properly, this factor may lead to an increase in the drug relapse rate among former drug addicts. Therefore, this study is conducted to (1) identify the level of family conflict among former drug addicts during the rehabilitation period, and to (2) identify factors that influence family conflict among former drug addicts. This study was performed using a quantitative cross-sectional survey design. A total of 380 former drug addicts who have completed their rehabilitation program at the Cure and Care Rehabilitation Centre (CCRC) were chosen as the respondents of the study. The collected data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of the study found that the level of family conflict among former drug addicts is only at a moderate level. Analysis of the study shows that their desire for drugs and the combination of emotional disturbance, social surrounding stress, and self-efficacy to avoid drugs are factors that contribute to family conflict among former drug addicts. This study gives implications on the need to enhance policies related to drug treatment programs and conflict resolutions towards relapse prevention.
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Debido al alto porcentaje de recaídas posteriores al tratamiento por consumo de drogas, se presenta un esquema de intervención, con un enfoque cognitivo conductual orientado al desarrollo de habilidades y estrategias de afrontamiento de las situaciones riesgosas y estresantes. Objetivo. Conocer en los adictos rehabilitados el nivel de autoeficacia para mantener la abstinencia. Método. A través de un curso-taller de 10 sesiones dirigido a los residentes de una Comunidad Terapéutica, se promovió el desarrollo de habilidades de control acerca de los pensamientos relacionados a las sustancias y a su consumo. Resultados. Se realizó un seguimiento a los participantes a los dos y cuatro meses posteriores a su egreso, de estos, 67% continuaban en abstinencia y 33% había recaído; las situaciones de mayor riesgo de recaída fueron: momentos y emociones agradables con otros, seguidas por la necesidad física creada por la droga acostumbrada. Discusión y Conclusiones. Las ideas nucleares permisivas del consumo se pueden modificar con técnicas cognitivo conductuales y los cambios logrados pueden perdurar y así disminuir la intensidad del craving. Este tipo de intervención logra mayor autoconocimiento de la conducta de consumo y aumenta la autoeficacia para sostener la abstinencia.
Background Relapse to Methamphetamine (MA) use is among the public concerns nowadays, which result in adverse outcomes associated with physical and mental health problems. This study aimed to develop the Risk of Relapse Assessment Scale (RRAS) for Chinese MA abusers. Method A sample of 438 MA abusers aged between 17 and 58 years (M ± SD age = 34.08 ± 8.61 years) in compulsory detoxification institutes were randomly divided into sub-sample 1 (n = 223) and sub-sample 2 (n = 215) for conducting exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis respectively. Results Compared four-factor model with 19 items and three-factor model with 16 items using principal axis factoring, the three-factor solution showed better model fit. Three factors were identified in RRAS:Craving for MA, Social Recognition, and Attitude towards MA which accounted for 50.06% of the variance in total. The results of confirmation factor analysis demonstrated good model fits (CFI = 0.95; TLI = 0.94; RMSEA = 0.050; GFI = 0.92). The internal consistency analysis indicated the three-factor model had satisfactory reliability with Cronbach alphas ranging from 0.71 and 0.88 for different factors. Overall, the results showed that the RRAS has good construct validity and satisfactory reliability, suggesting that it is a good instrument for measuring the relapse of MA. Conclusions The RRAS with good psychometric properties provides a promising future for developing effective relapse prevention programs for MA abusers in China.
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Statistik penagihan dadah dilihat amat membimbangkan kerana terdapat peningkatan jumlah penagih dadah yang begitu ketara dari tahun ke tahun. Situasi ini tambah parah apabila berlakunya penagihan semula atau relaps di mana penagih menggunakan semula dadah selepas selesai menjalani program rawatan dan pemulihan sama ada di institusi atau komuniti. Terdapat pelbagai faktor yang mempengaruhi bekas penagih untuk relaps. Justeru, kajian ini adalah bertujuan untuk meninjau konsep kawalan kendiri dan kualiti kehidupan dalam mencegah relaps ketagihan dadah dalam kalangan tahanan di Pusat Pemulihan. Maklumat yang diketengahkan adalah berdasarkan kajian perpustakaan melalui kaedah analisis kandungan. Konsep kawalan kendiri telah diadun bersama teori Quality of Life (QoL) melalui aplikasi Model CASIO bagi merungkai permasalahan yang wujud ini. Dapatan kajian menunjukkan terdapat 4 elemen dalam pencegahan relaps berdasarkan konsep kawalan kendiri iaitu sokongan sosial, motivasi diri, regulasi kendiri dan peneguhan spiritual. Manakala terdapat lima strategi dalam kualiti hidup yang dapat menghindarkan daripada berlakunya relaps iaitu keadaan hidup, sikap penagih, standard kehidupan, kepentingan dalam kehidupan dan kepuasan hidup secara keseluruhan. Di Malaysia, kajian berkaitan kaedah pencegahan relaps melalui konsep kawalan kendiri dan kualiti hidup masih terhad dan minima. Oleh itu, kajian ini dapat menjadi satu platform dan sumber rujukan baru khususnya kepada pusat-pusat pemulihan dadah di negara ini bagi memastikan masalah relaps ini dapat diatasi dan dikurangkan.
Adolescent drug addiction in Ukraine is a serious problem that requires proper attention and evaluation from modern society. Timely public reaction to this issue determines the methods of its solution and ways to prevent adolescent drug addiction in Ukraine in the future. The urgency of the subject matter is determined by the danger of drug addiction among Ukrainian adolescents and the lack of attention paid by parents to the study of this problem and the lack of proper attention to this issue in most Ukrainian schools. Prospects for research in this area are determined by the need to identify the main social and psychological aspects that motivate modern Ukrainian adolescents to use drugs. This will allow to redirect the situation and create conditions to prevent a situation in society where drug use by Ukrainian adolescents would be possible. The purpose of the study is to identify the dominant psychological and social factors that motivate adolescents to start using drugs. Materials and methods. The main research method is the method of analysis, which was used to comprehensively consider and describe the factors that push young people to use drugs, despite the obvious threat to their health and life. Authors consider issues of social and psychological aspects of adolescent drug addiction, problems of relations in society and families where adolescents begin to use drugs. The study covers the types of family relations and the nature of intra-family relations, in which adolescents start using drugs. Conclusion. The main social and psychological factors that push modern young people to take drugs are identified. In the course of this study, conclusions were drawn about the significant role of existing problems in modern Ukrainian families, where children begin to use drugs early. Preventive conversations in schools, other educational institutions and at home are effective tools in the fight against adolescent drug addiction. Competitions in various sports among teenagers and mass cross-country races also have pronounced influence. The practical value of the study in this area is to identify and state opportunities to create methods to combat adolescent drug addiction and the complete elimination of the harmful effects of drugs on modern Ukrainian schoolchildren
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Substance use, misuse, and disorders (SUDs) are estimated to cost the United States over $500 billion annually. While there are effective SUD behavioral interventions and treatments, there is mounting evidence that technology-based, digital recovery support services (D-RSS) have the potential to prevent SUD, complement formal treatment, and improve individual recovery-related outcomes. This preregistered systematic review focuses on D-RSS that provide SUD recovery support through websites, smartphone applications, recovery social network sites, or any combination thereof. Data sources included studies found in searching CINAHL Plus (EBSCO), EMBASE, MEDLINE (EBSCO), Index Medicus/MEDLINE (NLM), Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection (EBSCO), PsycINFO (ProQuest), ProQuest Psychology Journals (ProQuest), and retrieved references. Observational, mixed-methods, qualitative , or experimental studies, published in English, between January 1985 and January 2019, that characterized users and recovery-related outcomes of any D-RSS were included. The initial search yielded 5,278 abstracts. After removing duplicates, as well as reviewing titles and abstracts and removing studies not indicating an examination of recovery (i.e., treatment or prevention focused) and digital supports, 78 abstracts remained. Final included studies (n = 22) characterized international users of multiple D-RSS types, including websites, digital recovery forums, recovery social networking sites, smartphone applications, and short messaging service texting programs. Experimental evidence was lacking as most studies were observational or qualitative in nature (n = 18). The review suggests that the evidence base for most D-RSS is still lacking in terms of demonstrating benefit for recovery-related outcomes. Descriptively, D-RSS have high usage rates among engaged participants, across a range of SUD and recovery typologies and phenotypes, with 11% of U.S. adults who have resolved a SUD reporting lifetime engaging with at least one D-RSS. D-RSS deployment can help ameliorate barriers related to accessibility and availability of more traditional recovery supports, and may well be a valuable tool in addressing SUD and supporting recovery as uptake increases across the United States. K E Y W O R D S mHeath, mobile technology, social media
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In the context of addiction research, positive recovery outcomes are affected by the quality of people's social interactions and perhaps to an even greater extent, by the defining norms of the groups they identify with—that is, using versus recovery groups. Here, we examine the role of online supportive networks in the process of recovery from alcohol addiction. We analyse the relationship between negative and positive aspects of recovery capital (i.e., self‐stigma, and respectively, positive recovery identity and self‐efficacy) as they relate to well‐being outcomes among alcohol users in an online recovery support group. Based on a computerised linguistic analysis of the naturally occurring data extracted from an online recovery support group (i.e., 257 posts made by 237 group members), we found that self‐stigma negatively predicts self‐efficacy and well‐being, and social identification with a recovery identity mediates these relationships. Overall, these findings highlight that positive engagement with supportive recovery networks is central to an effective and sustainable recovery.
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Introduction Severe alcohol use disorder (AUD) affects multiple aspects of an individual's life as well as their loved ones' lives. Perceived social support has the potential to help or hinder recovery efforts. Methods In this analysis we seek to understand the changes of social networks among individuals with severe AUD (n = 33) throughout their recovery process and the potential relationship between the quality and nature of those networks and sustained sobriety as they transition from an inpatient research facility providing rehabilitation treatment back to the community. Interviews were conducted in 2014 and 2015. We conducted in-depth thematic analysis of themes related to social support using an exploratory approach. Results The most common types of social support mentioned in both inpatient and outpatient settings were instrumental and emotional. Participants most frequently mentioned Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), an abstinence-based support system, as a source of support and often used the inpatient program as an exemplar when describing their ideal social networks. Conclusion These data provide insight into the complexity of the issues and barriers that individuals in recovery may be facing across “transition periods.” From an intervention standpoint, it may be beneficial to focus on helping people choose environments and their accompanying social contexts and networks that are most conducive to recovery. Further elucidating the concept of social support and its role in recovery could provide information on unique needs of individuals and guide clinicians in engaging patients to develop new or sustain healthy existing social networks that result in continued sobriety.
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Addiction to opiates has increased in recent years. This resurgence in its consumption shows the need to continue to investigate the role of personality in addictive behavior. Variables such as self-efficacy are quite helpful in the treatment of drug addicts. The purpose of this study was to examine and quantify the predictive capacity of self-efficacy in treatment groups (Methadone, Cognitive-Behavioral, Alcohol) and a Control group and in the severity of the substance abuse (quantity and chronicity of use). The sample was composed of 181 participants (97 men and 84 women), who were divided into 4 groups: Methadone, Cognitive-behavioral, Alcohol and Control. Their self-efficacy was measured using the Self-efficacy scale (SE) and the Addictive Behavior Research Interview (EICA). The results showed the self-efficacy is inversely related to the Methadone, Cognitive-behavioral and Alcohol groups and directly related to the Control group. Regarding the severity of the drug use, we found that self-efficacy was inversely related to the quantity of drugs consumed and directly related to chronicity. The study proposes the need to evaluate self-efficacy along with other personality measures, as it is not enough to believe that one is capable of successfully doing something (self-efficacy), but it is also important to show it (coping).
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Background: Drug abuse is a chronic and enduring phenomenon, which is among the important challenging public health problems. One of the main aspects in drug abuse is the relapse. Objectives: The aims of this study were to estimate the time to relapse (survival rate) and to evaluate some of its associated variables by survival analysis. Patients and methods: This research was conducted in four addiction treatment centers on 140 self-referred addicts in Ilam city, Iran, in 2012. Cluster sampling method was used for selecting the samples and data were collected by interview and referring to the subjects' records. The gathered data were analyzed through the life table, Kaplan-Meier analysis, log rank test, and Cox regression. Results: The relapse rate was 30.42%, mean and median of the time to relapse (survival time) were 27.40 ± 1.63 months (CI 95%: 24.19 - 30.60) and 25 ± 2.25 months (CI 95%: 22.5 - 27.5), respectively. In the first six months, the cumulative survival rate was 83%, while in the 24th month it was 46% and the following time was consistent. Job status (OR = 2.64), marital status (OR = 1.55), family size (OR = 1.20) and age (OR = 0.23) were statistically significant in Cox regression model. Conclusions: In the initial treatment, it seems necessary to supervise and monitor the treatment process through staff in addiction treatment centers together with the company of the addicts' families to reduce relapse rate.
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Emotional conditions governing the family and patients' perceived social support play important roles in the treatment or relapse process of the chronic disease. The current study aimed to investigate the role of family expressed emotion and perceived social support in prediction of addiction relapse. The descriptive-correlation method was used in the current study. The study population consisted of the individuals referred to the addiction treatment centers in Ardabil from October 2013 to January 2014. The subjects (n = 80) were randomly selected using cluster sampling method. To collect data, expressed emotion test by Cole and Kazaryan, and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) were used, and the obtained data was analyzed using the Pearson's correlation coefficient and multiple regression analyses. Results showed a positive relationship between family expressed emotions and the frequency of relapse (r = 0.26, P = 0.011) and a significant negative relationship between perceived social support and the frequency of relapse (r = -0.34, P = 0.001). Multiple regression analysis also showed that perceived social support from family and the family expressed emotions significantly explained 12% of the total variance of relapse frequency. These results have implications for addicted people, their families and professionals working in addiction centers to use the emotional potential of families especially their expressed emotions and the perceived social support of addicts to increase the success rate of addiction treatment.
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Background: Social factors play a key role in addiction recovery. Research with adults indicates individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) benefit from mutual-help organizations (MHOs), such as Alcoholics Anonymous, via their ability to facilitate adaptive network changes. Given the lower prevalence of sobriety-conducive, and sobriety-supportive, social contexts in the general population during the life-stage of young adulthood, however, 12-step MHOs may play an even more crucial recovery-supportive social role for young adults, but have not been investigated. Greater knowledge could enhance understanding of recovery-related change and inform young adults' continuing care recommendations. Methods: Emerging adults (N = 302; 18-24 yrs; 26% female; 95% White) enrolled in a study of residential treatment effectiveness were assessed at intake, 1, 3, 6, and 12 months on 12-step attendance, peer network variables ("high [relapse] risk" and "low [relapse] risk" friends), and treatment outcomes (Percent Days Abstinent; Percent Days Heavy Drinking). Hierarchical linear models tested for change in social risk over time and lagged mediational analyses tested whether 12-step attendance conferred recovery benefits via change in social risk. Results: High-risk friends were common at treatment entry, but decreased during follow-up; low-risk friends increased. Contrary to predictions, while substantial recovery-supportive friend network changes were observed, this was unrelated to 12-step participation and, thus, not found to mediate its positive influence on outcome. Conclusions: Young adult 12-step participation confers recovery benefit; yet, while encouraging social network change, 12-step MHOs may be less able to provide social network change directly for young adults, perhaps because similar-aged peers are less common in MHOs. Findings highlight the importance of both social networks and 12-step MHOs and raise further questions as to how young adults benefit from 12-step MHOs.
Background: Addiction is a physiological and psychological and social disorder that consider as a huge-health problem in many societies. Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate the role of self-efficacy beliefs and social support on prediction of addiction relapse. Patients and Methods: The research method was a causal-comparison. The population of the study included all subjects who sought medical advice in the centers for addiction treatment in Saravan and Iranshahr, south-east of Iran. The study population included 166 participants (83 participants without relapse and 83 participants with relapse) selected using snowball sampling during a four-month period of voluntary participation in the centers. The variables were measured by general self-efficacy scale and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. The data were analyzed by MANOVA. Results: Findings revealed significant differences between participants without relapse and participants with relapse in terms of "self-efficacy beliefs" and "social support". The two variables of self-efficacy beliefs and social support were the best predictors of addiction relapse. Conclusions: Based on the findings of the study, it can be concluded that self-efficacy beliefs and social support play effective roles in preventing patients from addiction relapse.
There are four main ideas in relapse prevention. First, relapse is a gradual process with distinct stages. The goal of treatment is to help individuals recognize the early stages, in which the chances of success are greatest. Second, recovery is a process of personal growth with developmental milestones. Each stage of recovery has its own risks of relapse. Third, the main tools of relapse prevention are cognitive therapy and mind-body relaxation, which are used to develop healthy coping skills. Fourth, most relapses can be explained in terms of a few basic rules. Educating clients in these rules can help them focus on what is important: 1) change your life (recovery involves creating a new life where it is easier to not use); 2) be completely honest; 3) ask for help; 4) practice self-care; and 5) don't bend the rules.