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Determination to abstain from alcohol helps in achieving prolonged sobriety

The reasons for excessive indulgence in alcohol is not the same for everyone. However, the level of difficulty encountered while trying to quit drinking is similar in each case. Apart from creating a sense of dependence, alcohol causes other acute medical conditions, such as liver diseases or disorders. Those planning to quit alcohol are more likely to succeed if they aim at complete abstinence as opposed to cutting down on alcohol quality and frequency of drinking.

Researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden tried to examine the impact of interaction between the goal set by the patient and the aim of a treatment procedure. The study, titled, “Is There a Need for Congruent Treatment Goals Between Alcohol-Dependent Patients and Caregivers?” was conducted to understand how the same aim of abstinence by both the patient and the physician helps put a stop to drinking. The study, published online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research in April 2016, analyzed 201 adult drinkers after 2.5 years of the start of the treatment.

The researchers then assessed patients in two treatment settings. The first treatment setting included patients who aimed for complete temperance from their drinking habits, while the second setting consisted of patients who preferred to cut down their drinking to achieve the goal of quitting drinking in the long run. The efficacy of consistency levels between patient and the caregiver was also looked into.

Joint goal by both patient and caregiver helps

It was found that 90 percent people who had come to seek treatment for their alcohol dependence problems and had aimed to quit drinking in entirety like their care providers were more successful in remaining sober two and half years after initial treatment process.

Only 50 percent patients who believed in controlled drinking similar to their caregivers were able to control the amount of drink they would like to consume two and half years later after they had begun treatment. Elucidating the findings, one of the co-authors of the study Dr. Kristina Berglund from the Department of Psychology at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden said, “Patients whose goal was total abstinence were more successful than those who had chosen to control their drinking.”

Common goal of abstinence more effective than conformance to treatment goals

The observations of the study were in opposition to the commonly held belief about same treatment goals being shared by the patients and their counselors were instrumental in determining long-term success of achieving sobriety. Though the goals ascertained during the treatment setting played an important role, the major key factor was the decision to go cold turkey by both the patients and their caregivers.

Stressing on the implications of the observations, Berglund added, “It is easy to believe that the patient and care provider having a common goal is the most important factor in achieving good treatment outcomes, but it is not that simple. Our study shows that, regardless of agreement on goals and methods, in the end it is more difficult to stick to controlled drinking than to give it up entirely.”

Recovery from addiction is possible

Any kind of addiction is harmful and has adverse effects on both physical and mental health, if not checked or treated at the earliest. If you or your loved one is addicted and is looking for help, contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline for more information on alcohol addiction rehabilitation centers available in your vicinity. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online for further advice on drug rehab centers or alcohol abuse treatment options.


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