Date of Award


Document Type

Capstone Paper

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Counselor Education


Rochester, Minnesota


Addiction is a common disease; about 21 million Americans have at least one addiction (Addiction Statistics, 2021). However, only about ten percent of Americans with an addiction receive treatment. Treatment comes in many forms including medication, therapy, coping skills, support systems, and other interventions. This paper emphasizes the importance of relapse prevention and the benefits it can provide in addition to treatment. Relapse prevention is based on a cognitive-behavioral approach to therapy and while it is considered to be a form of tertiary prevention, this paper argues that relapse prevention should be seen as a method of primary prevention. Several determinants of relapse are addressed in this paper including self-efficacy, outcome expectancy, motivation for change, coping skills, emotional regulation, and cravings. These determinants can increase the probability that an individual will face a relapse. The paper concludes with the stages of relapse, explains risk factors within the stages, and the progression between stages.



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