Long-term abstinence from alcohol in patients receiving aversion therapy as part of a multimodal inpatient program

Schick Shadel Hospital, Seattle, Washington, United States
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment (Impact Factor: 3.14). 02/1990; 7(2):77-82. DOI: 10.1016/0740-5472(90)90002-8
Source: PubMed


A sample of 200 patients who had been treated for alcoholism in a multimodal inpatient program that used aversion therapy as a treatment component was selected for outcome evaluation. One hundred sixty (80%) were located. A minimum of 13 months had elapsed since treatment (mean 20.5 months) collateral reports were used to verify self-reports in 36% of the cases. Abstinence status was determined for the first 12 months since treatment, the entire elapsed time since treatment (range 13 to 25 months, mean 20.5 months), and "current abstinence" (last 6 months). The abstinence rate for the first 12 months was 71.3%; for the total period since treatment, the rate was 65% (mean 20.5 months); the current abstinence rate was 78.1%. The data was also viewed from other perspectives. The findings of this study suggest that a multimodal alcoholism treatment program utilizing aversion conditioning is at least as acceptable to patients as counseling centered programs and can be expected to yield favorable abstinence rates.


Available from: Patrick Joseph Frawley
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    • "These findings may support the concept of neurocircuitry of pathological craving in AD (Koob & Volkow, 2010; Volkow et al., 2011). Previous studies have demonstrated that aversive treatment is effective in decreasing craving in alcohol-dependent individuals (Howard & Jenson, 1990; Lee et al., 2009; Smith & Frawley, 1990). Elkins reported that alcohol-dependent individuals who experienced aversive therapy sessions maintained about 60% of 1-year abstinence rates. "
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    • "The addition of these treatments extended the length of stay by 1-6 days. For stimulants, a " cocaine or amphetamine substitute " was paired with an aversive stimulus in 5 treatment sessions in addition to the alcohol aversion treatments (Frawley & Smith, 1990). For marijuana, a " marijuana substitute " was paired with the aversive stimulus in addition to the alcohol aversion treatments (Smith, Schmeling, & Knowles, 1988). "
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