Goals & Objectives RP

 NIDA’s Proven and Effective Relapse Prevention Programs

Recovery Training and Self Help & Cue Extinction   

(A Two Day Skills Based Workshop)

Recovery Training and Self Help (RTSH) is a relapse prevention technique that combines as many as four strategies and can be used effectively in the context of continued care and/or follow-up counseling services provided in the course of addiction recovery. RTSH can be used as part of either residential or outpatient programs. RTSH enables clients to learn how to identify and deal with specific high risk situations, how to enjoy social situations that do not involve drugs, and how to develop new relationships, both social and intimate. RTSH is an evidence based practice, developed and proven effective by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

The RTSH program brings together many relapse prevention strategies. The RTSH program seeks to reduce the association of psychological and social cues with substance use by teaching individuals self-sustaining alternative responses to stimuli previously associated with drug use. These new responses are elements of a new pattern of behavior, a recovering lifestyle.

Cue Extinction is a relapse prevention technique based on traditional learning and behavioral modification theories that has been empirically tested and, when incorporated into a comprehensive relapse prevention program, has been found to be effective in supporting clients to maintain recovery. Cue extinction can help clients reduce their craving for drugs, even when confronted with the situations and stimuli that triggered the urge in the past. The Cue Extinction program teaches techniques for coping with cravings produced by drug-related stimuli until the power of these cues to evoke the craving is reduced or eliminated.

Recovery is not just the cessation of drug use; usually it also demands adjustments to a new way of life within the culture of the larger community. To make a truly new way of life and not just relocate the old one, people need much more than to learn how to avoid people places and things.  People must have guidance, acquire new skills, develop new relationships and become part of supportive communities.  Clients can find support for that emerging lifestyle by participating in four distinct sets of activities that make up the RTSH program.

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To develop and / or enhance the knowledge and skills required to implement two proven and effective models of Relapse Prevention, i.e., Recovery Training and Self Help (RTSH) and Cue Extinction.


Participants will be able to:

  • Define Relapse, and be able to differentiate between the biological factors, psychological factors, and social factors that influence the relapse process.
  • Differentiate between internal and external stimuli that can trigger relapse.
  • Differentiate between the assessment of a client’s relapse potential, versus their continued use potential, as defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).
  •  Define Relapse Prevention
  • Differentiate between three key factors (i.e., Abstinence Violation Effect, Self Efficacy, and Seemingly Irrelevant Decisions) that according to Marlatt and Gordon’s Relapse Prevention Model influence a client’s risk of relapse.
  •  Differentiate between three common approaches to Relapse Prevention.
  • Identify at least two factors treatment professionals should consider when responding to a client’s relapse.
  • Identify the key characteristics of RTSH a proven and effective Relapse Prevention Approach
  • Identify the four key strategies that make up the Recovery Training and Self Help Relapse Prevention approach. 
  • Identify at least two key elements of at least two of the four key strategies used to implement of RTSH.
  • Identify and define the five parts of a Recovery Training Group
  • Identify at least two common errors group leaders may make when running a Recovery Training Group. 
  • Identify the key characteristics of Cue Extinction, a proven and effective Relapse Prevention Approach
  • Identify at least two rationale for using the Cue Extinction Relapse Prevention Approach.
  • Identify at least one benefit of using Cue Extinction
  • Identify and describe the six Cue Extinction tools 
  • Identify two challenges involved in helping client’s identify triggers that might induce cravings.
  • Identify the correct use of the Coping with Craving (CWC) Form.  
  • Identify at least two Benefits of Using the Coping with Craving (CWC) Form  
  • Identify two client characteristics that may interfere or prevent the successful implementation of the Cue Extinction approach.
  • Identify at least two ways for dealing with clients who may still be experiencing urges and cravings after the Cue Extinction Tool has been applied.

Job / Career Relevancy:

While many agencies address relapse as part of the standard milieu of treatment incorporating bits and pieces of various relapse prevention strategies into individual counseling and group work, fewer actually run groups dedicated solely to relapse prevention. Many organizations are looking for qualified staff to implement and run proven and effective Relapse Prevention programs. Possessing the knowledge and skills to implement proven and effective relapse prevention approaches is a marketable skill that you can take with you wherever you work, and one that should be listed on your resume.