Understanding Recovery Barriers: Youth Perceptions About Substance Use Relapse

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Abstract:

Objective: To qualitatively explore how treatment-involved youth retrospectively contextualize relapse from substance use. Methods: Fourteen focus groups were conducted with 118 youth (78.3% male; 66.1% Latino) enrolled in participating substance abuse treatment programs (4 young adult and 10 adolescent) throughout Los Angeles County. Transcripts were analyzed for relapse perception themes. Results: Dominant relapse themes include emotional reasons (90%), life stressors (85%), cognitive factors (75%), socialization processes (65%), and environmental issues (55%). Conclusions: Youth perceptions about relapse during treatment should be used to better inform clinical approaches and shape early-intervention recovery agendas for substance-abusing youth.

Keywords: ADOLESCENTS; RELAPSE; SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT; YOUNG ADULTS; YOUTH PERCEPTIONS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.36.5.3

Affiliations: 1: Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA. rachelmg@ucla.edu 2: Associate Director, Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, University of California, Los Angeles, CA,, USA; Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA 3: Staff Research Associate, Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA 4: Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA 5: Professor, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.
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