Journal of Addiction Medicine

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Journal of Addiction Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e318044ce4f
Original Article

Impact of Lifetime Alcohol Quit Attempts and Medicated Detoxifications on Time to Relapse During an Index Alcohol Detoxification

Wright, Tara M. MD; Myrick, Hugh MD; Malcolm, Robert MD; Randall, Patrick PhD; Boyle, Elizabeth MSW; Henderson, Scott BA; Anton, Raymond MD

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Previous work has shown that multiple medication-treated alcohol detoxifications are associated with poorer treatment outcomes during subsequent detoxifications. Little is known about the impact of nonmedicated attempts to stop drinking outside the realm of these medically supervised detoxifications on acute detoxification outcomes. This study included 58 subjects enrolled in an outpatient detoxification study. Subjects were asked why and how often they quit alcohol for 3 days or longer during their drinking lifetime using concepts derived from the Cognitive Lifetime Drinking History. The effect of previous attempts at abstinence (both medicated and nonmedicated) on time to relapse during an index detoxification was examined. After the index detoxification, older individuals relapsed later than younger individuals and the number of previous medicated detoxifications rather than total lifetime quit attempts per se was related to quicker relapse. Contrary to expectation, those who reported fewer previous nonmedicated quit attempts tended to relapse sooner than those who reported more past quit attempts. This study supports and extends previous work that suggests that the number of previous medicated detoxifications, rather than the total number of past attempts at abstinence, predicts higher and sooner risk for early relapse drinking during outpatient alcohol detoxification.

© 2007 American Society of Addiction Medicine

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