At JourneyPure in Louisville, we can help you get started in your recovery and show you how to prevent relapse. The abstinence violation effect causes people who have relapsed to avoid owning up to the relapse and working to achieve sobriety again. Instead, those experiencing this effect can fall quickly down the rabbit hole. What that person does after the relapse occurs can, and usually does, reroute his or her journey in recovery either positively or negatively. The most important thing to remember when experiencing challenges in recovery is to accept them and find healthy ways to get past them so that the recovery can continue. For some, this process is difficult to grasp, and this difficulty can lead to major setbacks, including relapse.

which of the following is an example of the abstinence violation effect

Over the first hour of the meeting, the counselor ensures that all the important aspects of the topic are covered and that premature digressions from the main topic are avoided. Clients with concerns or questions unrelated to the topic can be assured that the final 30 minutes of the group meeting will be devoted to issues that individual clients are struggling with. The counselor wraps up the discussion period with a reiteration of the session topic and the important issues relevant to it. Cognitive, affective, and behavioral therapy principles are targeted to accomplish the specific goals of each CMRPT component. Abstinence from sex is the most reliable way to avoid sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. Many high schools and religious programs in the United States teach abstinence-only sex education, advocating for abstaining from sex until marriage.


Clients discuss the ways that stable relationships can contribute to recovery. The RP group session descriptions use the metaphorical struggle between a client’s rational brain and addicted brain as a way to talk about recovery. The terms rational brain and addicted brain do not correspond to physiological regions of the brain, but they give clients a way to conceptualize the struggle between the desire to stay committed to recovery and the desire to begin using stimulants again. At times, the counselor may need to intervene assertively in response to specific types of client behavior in the group.

What is the abstinence violation effect quizlet?

The abstinence violation effect refers to. the belief that a lapse is a sign of failure and there is no longer any use to continuing to try.

The abstinence violation effect can be defined as a tendency to continue to engage in a prohibited behavior following the violation of a personal goal to abstain. For example, an individual who has successfully abstained from alcohol, after having one beer, may drink an entire case of beer, thinking that since he or she has “fallen off the wagon,” he or she might as well go the whole way. When an abstinence violation occurs, the attributions an individual makes play an important what is abstinence violation effect part in determining the trajectory of subsequent use. When abstinence violation occurs, individuals typically enter a state of cognitive dissonance, defined as an aversive experience resulting from the discrepancy created by having two or more simultaneous and inconsistent cognitions. Abstinence violators realize that their actions (e.g. “I drank”) do not line up with their personal goal (e.g. “I want to abstain”) and feel compelled to resolve the discrepancy.

Combatting the Abstinence Violation Effect

Intense dreams of substance use can produce feelings that persist into the waking day and can act as triggers for use. Clients who have detailed dreams about using should be alert to the added risk of relapse during the ensuing day. The counselor should encourage clients to express their concerns about drug dreams during the open discussion period of RP sessions. However, clients should be discouraged from describing their dreams of using in detail because they may act as triggers for other clients.

Although more research on the predictors of relapse in weight loss maintenance behaviors is recommended, careful implications for practice can be made. Clients are more likely to be satisfied and follow advice on health behavior change when they feel they have been heard and understood, and are given information they recognize as relevant to them (Gable, 2007). Planning coping responses to anticipated, personal, high-risk situations helps an individual to cope with difficult situations, such as negative emotions or being tempted by their social or physical environment (Sniehotta, Schwarzer, Scholz, & Schüz, 2005). Coping planning has been shown to be an efficacious technique to promote health behavior change, especially when individuals receive support when forming coping plans (Kwasnicka, Presseau, White, & Sniehotta, 2013). Therefore, we advise health practitioners to support their clients by helping them to identify personal risk situations and formulating corresponding coping plans. Perspectives from these key stakeholders could provide new and important insights from daily practice on predictors of relapse in weight loss maintenance behaviors, which can inform future relapse prevention interventions.

Physical Relapse

(2) to create, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense, a counterfeit substance. Clients learn that emotions can act as triggers and discuss tools that will help them avoid dangerous emotions. Clients identify aspects of their life that have been neglected and explore ways to manage their lives responsibly. The following sections provide structured guidance to the counselor for organizing and conducting the RP group sessions. A feeling of loss of control that occurs when a self-imposed rule has been violated.

  • In other words, abstinence violation effects make a single lapse much more likely to turn into a full return to a full relapse into negative behavioral or mental health symptoms.
  • Cognitive dissonance also arises, and attributions are then made for the violation.
  • However, there are some common early psychological signs that a relapse may be on the way.
  • Statements that were closer to each other in the plot were sorted together more often (and vice versa).
  • The abstinence violation effect can be defined as a tendency to continue to engage in a prohibited behavior following the violation of a personal goal to abstain.

Distal risks, which are thought to increase the probability of relapse, include background variables (e.g. severity of alcohol dependence) and relatively stable pretreatment characteristics (e.g. expectancies). Proximal risks actualize, or complete, the distal predispositions and include transient lapse precipitants (e.g. stressful situations) and dynamic individual characteristics (e.g. negative affect, self-efficacy). Combinations of precipitating and predisposing risk factors are innumerable for any particular individual and may create a complex system in which the probability of relapse is greatly increased. The abstinence violation effect (AVE) highlights the distinction between a lapse and relapse. Put simply, the AVE occurs when a client perceives no intermediary step between a lapse and a relapse.

Furthermore, the use of FDA-approved medications (which not all clients will view as “abstinence”) has been shown to produce the best health and recovery outcomes for people with opioid use disorders. Although there may be practical reasons for your client to choose abstinence as a goal (e.g., being on probation), it is inaccurate to characterize abstinence-based recovery as the only path to wellness. The Violation Effect of Withdrawal involves a loss of control in the drinker, leading to a new relapse. This effect produces in the person a negative emotional state of guilt and internal conflict between the incompatibility of the addictive behavior carried out and his desire for abstinence. The RP model was based on Marlatt and colleagues’ research on drinking relapses in people with alcohol dependence (see Marlatt, 1985b).

  • We suggest an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) study to track experiences over time and get insight into the process of behavior change, among which lapsing and relapsing (Shiffman, Stone, & Hufford, 2008).
  • A person who only has sex with their partner is monogamous but not abstinent.
  • It is not necessarily a failure of self-control nor a permanent failure to abstain from using a substance of abuse.
  • In order to understand AVE, it is important to realize the difference between a lapse and relapse.

Instead, they should promote the notion that slips should be addressed immediately and that individuals can learn from them and improve. This does not mean endorsing slips, but recognizing that if they occur, something needs to be done immediately. Both slips and even full-blown relapses are often part of the recovery process.

Models of Relapse

As the addiction progresses, the symptoms of this brain dysfunction cause difficulty in thinking clearly, managing feelings and emotions, remembering things, sleeping restfully, recognizing and managing stress, and psychomotor coordination. The symptoms are most severe during the first 6 to 18 months of sobriety, but there is a lifelong tendency of these symptoms to return during times of physical or psychosocial stress. The research team discussed whether fewer or more clusters would represent participants’ statements better, by evaluating the coherence between statements in each cluster.