Search This Blog

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Can problem drinkers drink at a 'normal' level again?

Problem drinkers may reduce the amount of alcohol they consume over a period of years but not to the level of the average adult, according to a new study!

Using a telephone screening program, researchers identified 672 problem and dependent drinkers who had not been in an alcohol treatment program for at least 12 months. Eleven years later, men in the study had reduced their average number of drinks per month by 51%, and women had reduced their average number of drinks by 57%

However, even after this reduction, male problem drinkers still consumed 160% and female problem drinkers 223% more alcohol than the average adult. This suggests that problem drinkers and heavy drinkers may never lower their consumption to the level of the general population.

"Our people were functional, for the most part. They had addresses, a lot of them had insurance at baseline, and they're not at the 'bottom of the barrel,' which is interesting," said lead researcher Kevin L. Delucchi.

The researchers also examined which factors appeared to be linked with continued heavy drinking. Participants who received help from Alcoholics Anonymous or community social service agencies were likely to drink less. However, those who had heavy-drinking friends in their social network, received general suggestions that they do something about their drinking, and went to a formal treatment program were actually likely to drink more.

An interesting study that highlight the power of substance addiction and how difficult it can be to beat. Being able to stem the consumption to under 50% of the previous usage and function well within society seems to me to be a success, we don't expect those addicted to be perfect, but at least they are not at the 'bottom of the barrel' - they can contribute to society and perform within it. Whether or not they could ultimately choose to completely give up on alcohol is another question, and perhaps with support they could, but as long as they are functioning is it really a problem?

Or is alcoholism only a problem when it starts affecting other people?

Link to Article

1 comment:

  1. No doubt there are 2 groups - those who can and those who can’t. Some people abuse alcohol in an extremely destructive way yet they can moderate if they want to. Others may do more moderate harm to self and others but find it impossible to moderate their drinking.


About this Blog

This is our first attempt to join the exciting world of blogging and bring to you all the fresh and hot news about the world of psychology and, of course, about your favourite training company. This is our new enterprise and we are finding our way in this mysterious world of blogging cautiously (but surely...) :-)
We are hoping to move our popular SDS Delegate Debate into this blogging format in the future and looking forward to lively discussions here with you. We are planning to start with publishing already existing SDS Delegate Debates — with comments received from you. Then we'll move to the current news as well as will run new delegate debates there.
Feel free to leave comments to any of the posts — whether they are old debates, the news or new debates. As you can guess — every blogger loves his readers and LIVES for the comments. :-) We are just the same. You don’t need to register in order to be able to comment. You can leave your feedback as “Anonymous”, however, may we ask you to sign you name (or nick) at the end of your comment (even if you are commenting without logging in) so that we know how to address you.
Another useful tool that SDS Blog provides us with is availability of Polls that enable us to find out your views about various subjects. Polls are located on the left panel of the page and updated regularly. Please feel free to vote. You can see the results of each poll by clicking the button "Results".
If you wish to register — nothing can be easier — you just open a Google account — most of you, surely, already use one.
Your comments are read by SDS Consultants regularly and — in many cases — replied to.
The blog is moderated — mainly to protect you and other readers from spam and irrelevant comments.
All posts are tagged — hopefully it'll help you to find your way around there.
Wish us luck and please join the list of our followers.