College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Abstinence and Controlled Drinking: Alternative Treatment Goals for Alcoholism and Problem Drinking?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1985

Publication Title

Bulletin of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors

Volume

4

Issue/No.

3

Abstract

Presents a transcript of an international panel discussion held at the annual meeting of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy in Washington, DC, in November 1983. The authors offer their individual views regarding the advantages and disadvantages of abstinence vs controlled drinking approaches to alcoholism. Research findings related to the 2 approaches are presented, and issues that should be considered in the evaluation of the 2 approaches are discussed. It is noted that often the 2 approaches overlap, with Ss taught to abstain engaging in moderate drinking and controlled-drinking Ss abstaining. Differences in the perception of drinking-problem etiologies and their influence on treatment approaches are also addressed. Factors including motivation, individual differences, criterion for success, and relapses are considered in relation to treatment approaches. Material from a question and discussion period is included.

DOI

10.1037//0893-164X.4.3.123