NIDA's Proven and Effective Relapse Prevention Approaches: Recovery Training and Self Help & Cue Extinction.
(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.


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 identify the bio-psycho-social factors that influence the relapse process.
  • Assess a client’s risk for relapse, and / or continued use as defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).
  • Define Relapse Prevention, and identify the minimum components of relapse prevention programming.
  • Identify at least three common approaches to Relapse Prevention.
  • Identify and describe the four key components of RTSH.
  • Describe fundamental concepts that RTSH is based on.
  • Describe the key elements of each of the four key components of RTSH.
  • Identify and define the five parts of a Recovery Training Group
  • Identify and define the key group leader skills required to implement a RT Group.
  • Identify most common errors made when leading a RT group.
  • Explain the elements of conditioning and conditioned response in relation to drug addiction and recovery
  • Identify and describe six Cue Extinction tools
  • Assist a client to identify key triggers that might induce drug craving
  • Demonstrate the correct use of the Coping with Craving (CWC) Rating Scale
  • Anticipate potential problems that could arise in a Cue Extinction counseling session and suggest ways for dealing with those problems
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.

Facilitated By:

Thomas H. Coyne, Ed.D, LCSW was one of the original contributors to the development of the NIDA Technology Transfer Packages (TTP) also known as NIDA’s Research Dissemination and Application (RDA) Packages. He was part of the original training team disseminating these strategies around the country in 1993. He later became the Master Trainer and lead consultant during NIDA's Training of Trainers (TOT) initiative to disseminate these packages to the field. Dr. Coyne continues to provide trainings on the two proven and effective relapse prevention approaches that make up the NIDA TTP on Relapse Prevention. He is the most experienced trainer in the country, and has been delivering these workshops nationally for the past seventeen years. The workshop will equip participants with the knowledge, skills and materials to implement the two approaches and to assist clients in developing coping techniques to stay drug and alcohol free. The NIDA TTP materials included in the workshop are scarce and very difficult to obtain.
Evidence Based - Proven Effective - Designed for Transfer