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New USC Study Analyzes Relapse Trends

Relapsing is, of course, the biggest danger after completing a recovery program. Scientific institutions have studied this trend for years and we certainly believe this type of research should continue. To that effect, USC has recently conducted an analysis of their own on the topic and uncovered some interesting trends.


USC’s research was led by Dr. Jordan Davis, a professor within their sociology department, and detailed some of the different behaviors between and men when it comes to falling back into old addiction trappings. Age was also analyzed to see if people within certain life stages were more prone to relapse. Ultimately, there were some interesting findings that spoke to all of these factors and the authors believed this information could be useful for those in the recovery field.


For women, the study claims that there were much higher relapse risk factors associated with depression or post traumatic stress disorder. Withdrawal symptoms were also triggers within this sect and, in the opinion of Dr. Davis, should be addressed and treated ongoing following the recovery outpatient process.


Men, on the other hand, appeared to be much more likely to relapse if they had been battling multiple substance abuse disorders (such as alcoholism and drug addiction). Also, if male subjects have a history of conduct disorder or rebelliousness throughout their life, their chances of using again increase dramatically.


“These results suggest that women would particularly benefit from treatments that aggressively address withdrawal symptoms with appropriate medications and cognitive-behavioral approaches,” Dr. Davis explained. “In contrast, men would likely benefit most from cognitive-behavioral and mutual-help interventions that directly target substance use behaviors and support the development of pro-social behaviors.”


The other big finding was that younger people are much more prone to relapse, regardless of their gender. Adolescents, in particular, were called out as high risk when it comes to falling off the wagon.


The goal of the study, according to Dr. Jordan and the researchers behind it, was to layer in these findings in order to identify those who may be “high risk” following a recovery program. So if you were a female who has suffered from depression and is also young, you would be a prime relapse candidate and should be monitored accordingly.


Another interesting way of applying this research is through machine learning, the report added. Looking at these factors (and some of the deeper revelations from the report), you could potentially create formulas and apply them to ensure that high risk recovery patients continue to remain clean.