College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

The Role of Low Risk Drinking in the Treatment of Alcohol Problems: A Commentary

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2004

Keywords

Alcohol Problems, Low Risk Drinking, Treatment, Moderation, Problem Drinking.

Publication Title

Behavior Therapy

ISSN

0005-7894

Volume

14

Issue/No.

2

Abstract

The majority of individuals with alcohol-related problems, often referred to as problem drinkers, have problems that are not severe. Although brief outpatient interventions have been shown to be efficacious for problem drinkers, appropriate services are lacking because most existing treatments were developed for more severely dependent alcohol abusers. Problem drinkers view traditional treatments as overly intensive and as having an unnecessary requirement of abstinence. Furthermore, the confrontational nature of the treatment elicits resistance. An alternative service delivery model, stepped care, emphasizes identifying and offering relevant services to problem drinkers in primary health care settings. Providing relevant services for problem drinkers could have considerable public health benefits.

DOI

10.1159/000079431