SHORT-TERM RECOVERY FROM ALCOHOL ABUSE OR DEPENDENCE: ANY EVIDENCE OF A RELATIONSHIP WITH TREATMENT USE IN A GENERAL POPULATION SAMPLE?


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Abstract

AimsTo test whether survey respondents who report alcohol misuse in the past year are more likely to be abstinent or binge-free in the past 30 days if they have used treatment, than if they have not.MethodsAnalysis of data from the 2002 US National Survey on Drug Use and Health was obtained.ResultsA total of 5730 respondents scored positive for alcohol abuse or dependence in the preceding year. Fewer than 10% had used any treatment for alcohol or drugs in this period, but this was associated with a 10% increase in the past-month abstinence and past-month binge-free drinking compared with respondents who did not access treatment. Such an apparent short-term recovery appeared greater in those whose treatment had been received in a formal treatment setting, a doctor's office, or in self-help groups than in the emergency room or in prison.ConclusionsEven if part of the association between treatment and recent abstinence and non-binge drinking was causal, indicating that treatment has some impact, it is a pathway chosen only by the minority.

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