What Is The Abstinence Violation Effect?

Also examined were the attributions of recovering drug users who were tempted but remained abstinent . Ninety-seven participants were recruited from an inpatient treatment center for substance abuse and completed an interview 6 months after leaving treatment. Also as predicted, abstainers made more internal, stable, and global attributions abstinence violation effect regarding their abstinence . Abstainers’ attributions for their success in remaining abstinent tended to be similar to the attributions made by relapsers for their failure to remain abstinent (i.e., for their relapse). Combined, these findings highlight the complexity of the attributional process in early recovery from substance abuse.

abstinence violation effect

Describes how many of the strategies described by Marlatt and Gordon are also applicable at various stages in the therapy of emotionally distressed patients.


Doing so can allow you the chance to save yourself from relapse before it is too late. The abstinence violation effect will always work against a person’s recovery as long as it is occurring. The best and most effective way to manage it is to work to prevent its happening. It was written based on peer-reviewed medical research, reviewed by medical and/or clinical experts, and provides objective information on the disease and treatment of addiction .

abstinence violation effect

The «emotional desert» is a period of time during which counselors feel hopeless and unable to help. An understanding of gender from a developmental and cultural perspective, as well as an awareness of the implications inherent in that perspective, is a critical attribute of the group counselor working with addictions. Typically led by a volunteer, this type of counseling group helps members cope with problems while providing support to one another.

Addictive Treatment Final

But if they still have drugs left, they decide to go ahead and deplete their supply before quitting again. Twelve-step can certainly contribute to extreme and negative reactions to drug or alcohol use. This does not mean that 12-step is an ineffective or counterproductive source of recovery support, but that clinicians should be aware that 12-step participation may make a client’s AVE more pronounced. Mental relapse – The mental battle going in your head marks this phase. You are only remembering the good aspects of using and not the bad parts.

What is Ave abbreviation for?

abbreviation. (North American English also Av.) ​(used in written addresses) avenue.

Clinical and research implications of the findings are discussed in relation to substance abuse relapse prevention. The Abstinence Violation Effect was a theory developed to help combat the incidence of individuals falling into lapse and subsequent relapse by creating a more thorough understanding of the mechanisms involved in relapse. This approach would be applicable to recovered depressed patients and would serve as a means of preventing relapse. Teasdale and colleagues provide a description of this training which teaches generic psychological, self-control skills and can be used on a continuing basis to maintain skills after initial training.

Countering The Abstinence Violation Effect: Supporting Recovery Through Relapse

Rather than communicating pessimism about a client’s potential to recover, these overdose prevention measures acknowledge the existence of the AVE and communicate that safety is more important than maintaining perfect abstinence. More information on overdose prevention strategies in treatment settings is available here. Someone in addiction treatment will learn relapse prevention skills and how to recognize their triggers and how to deal with them in therapy. Abstinence violation effect is a notable aspect of relapse education. Knowing what it is and how to handle it can help keep you on the right path to a lasting recovery. Being in recovery from drugs or alcohol addiction teaches people many things, including some of life’s most important lessons.

abstinence violation effect

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. Physical relapse – This is the phase where you actively start using again.

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