Vitality

Abstaining From Alcohol Easier Than Controlling Drinking, Study Finds

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that people wanting to abstain from alcohol are more likely to do so if they work with a care provider who also believes in total abstinence. The study also found that people who wanted to control their drinking are less likely to succeed even when working with a care provider who works with controlled drinking.

The study published Wednesday in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research observed 201 adults two and a half years after they began treatment.

Previous studies have shown that in order for the treatment to be successful, it is necessary for the patient and the care provider to be on the same page. However, the new study found that working with a care provider who believed in the same thing as the patient was not a crucial factor in determining the success or failure of the treatment.

“Patients whose goal was total abstinence were more successful than those who had chosen to control their drinking,” Kristina Berglund, one of the authors of the study, said in a statement.

easier to achieve sobriety than drinking less Researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that people wanting to abstain from alcohol are more likely to do so if they work with a care provider who also believes in total abstinence. ALEXANDER HASSENSTEIN/GETTY IMAGES

The researchers found that nearly 90 percent of patients who like their care providers believed in total abstinence were still sober two and a half years after they began treatment. But only 50 percent of patients who like their care givers believed in controlled drinking were successful in controlling how much they drink two and a half years later.

“It is easy to believe that the patient and care provider having a common goal is the most important factor in achieving good treatment outcomes, but it is not that simple,” Berglund said. “Our 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.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol consumption had resulted in deaths of nearly 88,000 people between 2006 and 2010 in the United States. One in every 10 deaths among adults aged between 20 and 64 years is a result of excessive alcohol consumption.

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