Alcohol relapse and near-relapse experiences show that relapse models need to be updated

Martin Mau, Ashley E. Muller, Kirsten Kaya Roessler

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Why do people with Alcohol Use Disorder [AUD] frequently relapse after completing treatment? This study examines the experience of relapse compared to near-relapse, thereby illustrating the difference between relapsing and staying abstinent when faced with a high-risk situation. Through twelve qualitative interviews and subsequent Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, we found that the experiences could be understood in terms of two themes: a) regulation of self, and b) the role of other people. Relapse specifically was characterized by the use of alcohol as a means of self-regulation combined with the sense of being disconnected from other people. The implications are that current relapse models need to place more emphasis on the interpersonal aspects of relapsing. The implications for practice are that AUD patients should be assisted in building new and/or strengthening existing ties to social networks.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAlcoholism Treatment Quarterly
Volume37
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)285-301
ISSN0734-7324
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3. Jul 2019

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Alcohols
Interviews

Keywords

  • Alcohol use disorder (AUD)
  • near-relapse
  • relapse

Cite this

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title = "Alcohol relapse and near-relapse experiences show that relapse models need to be updated",
abstract = "Why do people with Alcohol Use Disorder [AUD] frequently relapse after completing treatment? This study examines the experience of relapse compared to near-relapse, thereby illustrating the difference between relapsing and staying abstinent when faced with a high-risk situation. Through twelve qualitative interviews and subsequent Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, we found that the experiences could be understood in terms of two themes: a) regulation of self, and b) the role of other people. Relapse specifically was characterized by the use of alcohol as a means of self-regulation combined with the sense of being disconnected from other people. The implications are that current relapse models need to place more emphasis on the interpersonal aspects of relapsing. The implications for practice are that AUD patients should be assisted in building new and/or strengthening existing ties to social networks.",
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Alcohol relapse and near-relapse experiences show that relapse models need to be updated. / Mau, Martin; Muller, Ashley E.; Roessler, Kirsten Kaya.

In: Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 3, 03.07.2019, p. 285-301.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Mau, Martin

AU - Muller, Ashley E.

AU - Roessler, Kirsten Kaya

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N2 - Why do people with Alcohol Use Disorder [AUD] frequently relapse after completing treatment? This study examines the experience of relapse compared to near-relapse, thereby illustrating the difference between relapsing and staying abstinent when faced with a high-risk situation. Through twelve qualitative interviews and subsequent Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, we found that the experiences could be understood in terms of two themes: a) regulation of self, and b) the role of other people. Relapse specifically was characterized by the use of alcohol as a means of self-regulation combined with the sense of being disconnected from other people. The implications are that current relapse models need to place more emphasis on the interpersonal aspects of relapsing. The implications for practice are that AUD patients should be assisted in building new and/or strengthening existing ties to social networks.

AB - Why do people with Alcohol Use Disorder [AUD] frequently relapse after completing treatment? This study examines the experience of relapse compared to near-relapse, thereby illustrating the difference between relapsing and staying abstinent when faced with a high-risk situation. Through twelve qualitative interviews and subsequent Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, we found that the experiences could be understood in terms of two themes: a) regulation of self, and b) the role of other people. Relapse specifically was characterized by the use of alcohol as a means of self-regulation combined with the sense of being disconnected from other people. The implications are that current relapse models need to place more emphasis on the interpersonal aspects of relapsing. The implications for practice are that AUD patients should be assisted in building new and/or strengthening existing ties to social networks.

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