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Cognitive Behavior Modification Therapies for Alcohol Abstinence

Scientists tested the efficacy of an abstinence based alcohol intervention within a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) protocol. A university-based clinic gathered a sample of 128 women in a randomized controlled trial of CBT for alcohol use disorders (AUD). Three methods of alcohol intervention were used: abstinence upon entering the study or maintaining abstinence (MA), a cold turkey approach (CT), and a gradual winding down of use (WD). Findings reveals that MA and CT approaches resulted in better overall drinking outcomes, however; the WD approach was identified as the most appealing option to the participants. Of those who were able to successfully carry out the WD approach, positive-long term drink outcomes resulted.

The study “Heterogeneity in pathways to abstinence among women in treatment for alcohol use disorder,” is published in Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism supported this research effort.

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