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  • Robert Schwebel, Ph.D.

5 Principles for Helping After a Relapse

Updated: Feb 17, 2021

Posted August 12, 2020, on

A big part of relapse prevention is studying setbacks, learning about triggers, and planning how to either avoid the triggers and/or respond differently to them in the future.

Family and friends are most helpful when they embrace a person who has suffered a setback with understanding and compassion. Photo 101749781 © Katie Nesling |

People who relapse from their drug decisions feel discouraged and can benefit enormously from support. Unfortunately, well-meaning loved ones and counselors often make matters worse by focusing on the negative consequences, as in this situation:

After two months of abstinence, Anthony was embarrassed and in despair about a one-night binge at a party over the weekend. Trying to help him get back on track, his friends focused on the harm. They hoped he would recognize the consequences of his relapse and avoid these setbacks in the future.

Read the complete article here.

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