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J Psychoactive Drugs. 1990 Apr-Jun;22(2):197-209.

A randomized controlled trial of recovery training and self-help for opioid addicts in New England and Hong Kong.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge Hospital, Massachusetts.


The efficacy of a group relapse prevention program, Recovery Training and Self-help (RTSH), was investigated experimentally with opioid addicts in New England and Hong Kong. The experimental program featured weekly attendance at a professionally led recovery-training session, a peer-led self-help style meeting and a weekend recreational activity. Researchers randomly assigned newly recovering opioid addicts (N = 168) to experimental and control conditions, and followed them to assess their outcomes; 98% provided follow-up data. The intervention significantly reduced the probability and extent of relapse and helped unemployed subjects find work. RTSH also significantly reduced self-reported criminality. These findings suggest that relapse prevention programs can be effective in helping opioid addicts achieve long-term recovery.

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