Alcohol Use Disorders and the Division 12 Task Force of the American Psychological Association

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The Division 12 Task Force on Promotion and Dissemination of Psychological Procedures promulgated guidelines to identify treatments with empirical support for effectiveness. No treatment for alcohol abuse or dependence was rated as efficacious; 4 treatments for other drug use disorders were rated “probably efficacious.” The alcohol treatment research community has questioned why alcohol treatments with strong empirical support are not in the task force's list. This article presents results of the application of task force standards to 13 major psychosocial alcohol treatments viewed as having strong empirical support. Brief intervention and relapse prevention met task force criteria for “efficacious” treatments. However, in 1996, when the task force last published a list of empirically supported treatments (D. L. Chambless et al., 1996), there were insufficient published studies meeting task force criteria for these 2 treatments. Motivational enhancement met criteria to be rated “probably efficacious.”

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