Relapse – in a broader sense, is the return of signs and symptoms of a disease after a remission.
In the case of some psychiatric disorders, relapse is the worsening of symptoms or the re-occurrence of unhealthy behaviors, such as avoidance or substance use, after a period of improvement.
Relapse Prevention – A set of skills designed to reduce the likelihood that symptoms of the illness in question will worsen or that a person will return to an unhealthy behavior, such as substance use.
Skills include, for example, identifying early warning signs that symptoms may be worsening, recognizing high risk situations for relapse, and understanding how everyday, seemingly mundane decisions may put you on the road to relapse (for example, skipping lunch one day may make you more vulnerable to get in a bad mood).
Relapse can be prevented through the use of specific coping strategies, such as identifying early warning signs.
Early Intervention is simply bridging the gap between prevention and treatment. Early intervention is essential to reducing drug use and its costs to society