Relationship between clinical judgment, self-report, and breath-analysis measures of intoxication in alcoholics

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Three studies comparing 704 alcoholics' self-reports, observers' ratings, and breath-test determinations of alcohol intoxication found that (a) alcoholics' self-reports of their recent drinking were valid when they had not been drinking; (b) when they had been drinking, their self-reports were frequently invalid and underreported; (c) incidence of discrepant self-reports was not a function of level of intoxication; and (d) trained observers could identify only 50-67% of the Ss who were intoxicated but gave invalid self-reports. Breath analysis for blood alcohol concentration should be a mandatory component of alcohol treatment programs and alcohol treatment outcome evaluations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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