Relapse prevention (RP) is an important component of alcoholism treatment.
The RP model proposed by Marlatt and Gordon suggests that both immediate de
terminants (e.g., high-risk situations, coping skills, outcome expectancies
, and the abstinence violation effect) and covert antecedents (e.g., lifest
yle factors and urges and cravings) can contribute to relapse. The RP model
also incorporates numerous specific and global intervention strategies tha
t allow therapist and client to address each step of the relapse process. S
pecific interventions include identifying specific high-risk situations for
each client and enhancing the client's skills for coping with those situat
ions, increasing the client's self-efficacy, eliminating myths regarding al
cohol's effects, managing lapses, and restructuring the client's perception
s of the relapse process. Global strategies comprise balancing the client's
lifestyle and helping him or her develop positive addictions, employing st
imulus control techniques and urge-management techniques, and developing re
lapse road maps. Several studies have provided theoretical and practical su
pport for the RP model.