Title page for ETD etd-10292012-155906

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Chetty, Mahendhree
Email mandydeno@absamail.co.za
URN etd-10292012-155906
Document Title Cause of relapse post treatment for substance dependency within the South African Police Services
Degree Master of Arts
Department Social Work and Criminology
Advisor Name Title
Dr F Taute Supervisor
  • treatment
  • relapse
  • substances
  • substance abuse
  • substance dependency
  • member
  • SAPS employee
  • EHW
  • employee health and wellness
  • EAP
  • employee assistance programme
Date 2012-04-17
Availability unrestricted
The aim of this research was to explore the causes of relapse post treatment for substance dependency within the South African Police Services (SAPS). “Alcoholism is a chronic relapsing brain disease, so individuals with substance abuse disorders face the possibility of relapse once they stop using alcohol even if they have had a successful treatment” (Perkinson, 2004:180). According to Connors, Maisto and Donovan (1996:5) research revealed that relapse rates among persons treated for alcoholism were approximately 35% and 58% at two weeks and three months after treatment, respectively. A relapse or uncontrolled return to alcohol or other drug use following competent treatment, is one of the greatest problems substance abusers and their counselors face (Lewis, Dana & Blevins, 2002:105; Johnson, 2003:271).

The objective of the study was to explore the challenges that members in the South African Police Services (SAPS) experience or are exposed to causing them to relapse post treatment for substance dependency. The findings are intended to provide recommendations to the management of SAPS to develop a relapse prevention programme in the workplace to prevent relapse post treatment. The researcher utilized a quantitative research approach to identify the causes of relapse among SAPS members post rehabilitation for substance dependency. The type of research is applied research as the focus of the study is on identifying the causes for members within the SAPS to relapse post treatment for substance dependency and to address a specific practical issue in the workplace.

The literature review focused on understanding the relapse process. The cognitive-behavioural Model of relapse was discussed at length including the prevalence of substance abuse among police members and concluded with information on the relapse prevention programme.

A self-administered questionnaire was used as a research tool to collect data from the respondents (See annexure C). The population of this study was the members of the SAPS who had undergone treatment for substance dependency from January 2008 to April 2009. The researcher concentrated on those members in the KZN Province. Consultation with the social workers revealed a population size of 50 members. Due to the small size of the population, no sampling procedure was necessary as the whole population was selected as the sample. The findings of the study were based on 44 questionnaires that were returned by the respondents. The findings were analyzed and presented using tables and graphs which were then interpreted in words.

The study revealed that the majority of the respondents attributed their main cause for relapse due to Intrapersonal determinants - they experienced a negative emotional state (for example, feelings of anger, frustration and anxiety) that initially triggered their need to taking that first drink. Secondly respondents identified exposure to peer pressure and boredom as also being a cause for their relapse. They disclosed that at times their peers would pressurize them to consume alcohol. The temptation, urges and cravings and being in the presence of other people consuming alcohol proved too difficult to resist. Alcohol being the recreational drug of choice proved to be tempting to members especially when socialising with colleagues.

Based on the findings of the study conclusions and recommendations were made to the development of the relapse prevention programme to assist members post treatment to maintain their sobriety.

Copyright © 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Chetty, M 2011, Cause of relapse post treatment for substance dependency within the South African Police Services, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10292012-155906 / >


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