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Total Alcohol Abstinence Vs. Controlled Drinking: Which Is The Best Treatment Method?

First Posted: Sep 16, 2016 05:30 AM EDT

Curbing alcoholism would likely be difficult to achieve once the patient decided to control its drinking rather than having a total abstinence from alcohol, according to study. The researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that almost 90 percent of patients who decided for total abstinence from alcohol were successful.

The study was printed in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and experimental Research on Wednesday. The researchers examined 201 adults two and a half years after they began treatment, according to Medical Daily.

The care providers have a key role in choosing the treatment method. It is found that care providers who have the same view with the patients could likely lead to treatment success. In the case of the recent study, the team discovered that care providers who believed in total abstinence also contributed to the success of the treatment of patients, compared to care providers, who chose controlled drinking.

Kristina Berglund from University of Gothenburg and one of the authors of the study said that it is easy to believe that the patient and care provider having a common goal is the most significant factor in achieving good treatment outcomes. On the other hand, she added that it is not that simple. She said that their 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, as noted by News Medical.

The study also revealed that only 50 percent of patients together with their caregivers, who had chosen control drinking were successful in controlling the amount of alcohol they drink two and a half years later. The findings of the study are related to the current debate on total abstinence vs. controlled alcohol drinking as a treatment method for the alcoholic patients.

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