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Sample Coursework Paper on Ways of Viewing Relapse

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Sample Coursework Paper on Ways of Viewing Relapse

The Webster’s New Collective Dictionary (1983) defines relapse as “a recurrence of symptoms of a disease after a period of improvement”. This view corresponds with that applied by the disease model where an individual is considered either “cured” or relapsed. As standard practice in the field of addictions, the usage of drugs and other substances subsequent to a treatment program (abstinence oriented) indicates the occurrence of a relapse. This perspective is replicated in a lot of the conventional treatment outcomes, which are either classified as successes or failures. A success is reported in instances where the abstinence is maintained, whereas a failure is said to occur when the abstinence has been violated. This tends to portray relapse as a dead end, the end of the road or even as an end state. It is a rather pessimistic approach, portraying a black-white dichotomy of abstinence, where any violation of abstinence is assumed to result into the extremes of relapse. Here, the assumption is that an individual is either in total control, or in total relapse (Marlatt and Gordon, 31).

            The second view, also reflected in Webster’s dictionary defines a relapse as the act, or the instance of subsiding, getting worse or backsliding. The view, also referred to as the RP approach assumes that the reflective and cognitive reactions to that initial lapse subsequent to a period of abstinence apply substantial amount of pressure that could determine whether the lapse is followed by a full relapse. Here, relapse is seen as a process of transition, or a sequence of happenings that could or could not be followed by the return to the original levels of the behavior in question.

            As opposed to the initial approach which views a relapse as a dead end, the RP model is more optimistic in nature. It views a lapse as a fork on an individual’s path, which offers a choice between returning to the initial problem (total collapse or relapse), or proceeding in a direction of positive change (Marlatt and Gordon, 32).



Works Cited

Marlatt, G.A. and Gordon, JR. Relapse Prevention. New York: The Guilford

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Sample Coursework Paper on Ways of Viewing Relapse

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