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Session 9: Knowing How to Handle a Relapse is NOT Permission to Have a Relapse

This program encourages you to set a goal of abstinence from crystal. Yet some people who are trying to get off of crystal will relapse in their struggle to remain clean. The same is true for involvement in high­risk sex.

Relapse to crystal or high­risk sexual behaviors will not affect your participation in this group. In fact, if you relapse you are encouraged to talk about your relapse experience and what you learned from it in this group. Although many people stay clean, others relapse. You will not be punished or shamed in any way for a relapse.

Most important, we must think about how to handle a relapse if it does occur and how to reduce the potential damage as much as possible. In other words, if you relapse, it is important to be safe. This is true of crystal­ related behaviors and it is true if you return to old, high­risk sexual practices.

With this in mind, the following principles are offered:

If you inject:


If you are an injection drug user and you are unable to remain drug­ free, locate a needle exchange program in your community and participate in it. In Los Angeles, there are needle exchange programs offered by the following agencies:



Clean Needles Now (CNN) ­ Hollywood, West Hollywood ­ (323) 857­5366; www.cleanneedlesnow.org Minority AIDS Project (MAP) ­ South Central Los Angeles,


Inglewood ­ (323) 936­4949; www.map­usa.org Tarzana Treatment Center (TTC) ­ San Fernando Valle 342­5897; www.tarzanatc.org



Common Ground Westside ­ West LA, Venice ­ (310) 314­5480; www.commongroundwestside.org

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Bring your used needles (rigs) to the clinic for safe disposal.

Do not share your needles or works. If you share, go first. If you share needles/works, carry bleach.

Before your turn, flush

three times with water. Then fill the needle and syringe with bleach and let it sit for one minute. Push the bleach out and flush three times

Session 9: Knowing How to Handle a Relapse is NOT Permission to Have a Relapse


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