Exploring Spousal Communication as a Predictor in Relapse Occurrence among Individuals in Recovery from Substance Use Disorders: Implications for Treatment Programs
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Relapse among persons treated for substance use disorders (SUD) has increasingly become a problem across the world. Literature documents the role of spousal communication in relapse of individuals recovering from SUD. This study examined the association between spousal communication and relapse occurrence among patients in recovery from SUDS and the implications for treatment. The Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation Model (VSAM) and the General Systems Theory were adopted as the theoretical frameworks informing the study. Screening for various drug use was done using the Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST). A self-rated questionnaire was adapted from the Advance WArning of RElapse (AWARE) questionnaire was used in this correlational study to collect data that was purposefully selected from persons admitted in rehabilitation centers in Nairobi County. Results indicated that 37.41% of the participants who had spousal relationships had relapsed. Results also revealed poor communication between spouses was perceived as a cause of increased substance use. The study showed a positive statistical significance between spousal communication and relapse occurrence among inpatients with SUD (r=.016, p=.002<0.05). The study concluded that poor spousal communication was a predictive factor in relapse of individuals with SUDs. The study is significant to addiction professionals and practicing counselors who should enhance effective communication as a component of family therapy and as part of the treatment interventions.