Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Submitted version

Hammerbacher, M., & Lyvers, M. (2006). Factors associated with relapse among clients in substance abuse treatment facilities. Journal of Substance Use, 11(6), 387-394

This is a preprint of an article submitted for consideration in the Journal of Substance Use, available online at:

© Copyright Taylor & Francis, 2006

2006 HERDC submission


Factors associated with relapse to problematic alcohol or illicit drug use were examined in 104 clients enrolled in treatment programs for substance disorders. Participants were assessed by retrospective self-report questionnaires to explore the roles of family dysfunction, mood states, primary drug of dependence, demographic variables and various other factors in relation to relapse episodes. Consistent with previous studies, the most commonly cited reason for relapse was negative mood states, followed by external pressure to use, desire for positive mood states, and social/family problems. Reasons for relapse did not differ between clients whose primary drug of dependence was heroin, methamphetamine or alcohol. Methamphetamine abusers and participants in the drug court program had the fewest relapses. Comorbid psychological disorders were most commonly diagnosed in the alcoholic group, followed by the methamphetamine group and the heroin group. General family functioning retrospectively improved from time of last relapse to time of testing. Results are consistent with previous work and suggest that relapse factors are remarkably similar across different types of drug dependence.



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