Navigation Links
For alcoholics, new help in abstaining -- without thinking about it
Date:3/1/2011

Alcoholism is a tough addiction to kick. Eventually, most people return to drinking. But some Dutch and German psychological scientists have tested a short-term regime that promises to help alcoholics stay sober. Their study is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association of Psychological Science.

Heavy drinkers tend to behave impulsively in response to temptation. Meanwhile, their "reflective," or controlled, responsesthe thoughts that would help them resist drinkingare often weak. Most therapies, including Cognitive Behavior Therapy, primarily address the reflective responses. "They deal with the reasons and strategies" for sobriety, said University of Amsterdam experimental psychologist Reinout W. Wiers, the study's lead author. To boost treatment success, his team developed cognitive-bias modification, or CBM, which, for the first time, "tries to turn around those impulsive responses."

This newly developed CBM variety employs video-game-like "approach-avoidance tasks": pushing or pulling a joystick in response to images on a screen. Pulling zooms in on the image, as if the participant were "approaching" it. Pushing zooms out, in "avoidance." The team's earlier studies found that heavier drinkers, shown images of alcoholic beverages or soft drinks, are faster to "pull" the alcohol than lighter drinkersbut CBM can turn this "approach bias" into an "avoidance bias."

Could CBM help serious alcoholics? In this study Wiers and his collaboratorsCarolin Eberl and Johannes Lindenmeyer of the Salus Clinic in Lindow, Germany, and Mike Rinck and Eni S. Becker of Radboud Universityrecruited 214 inpatients at the Salus Clinic. Three weeks after detoxification, the patients were assessed for their craving for alcohol, as well as their attraction to it, indicated by joystick and word-association tasks.

One group of patients then received CBM: they were trained to push away pictures of alcoholic drinks. The control groups either received "sham" training or none at all. Four 15-minute sessions were conducted on four consecutive days.

When retested a week later, the CBM participants' "approach bias for alcohol had changed to an avoidance bias, on a variety of tests," said Wiers. The control groups showed no such changes.

Then the patients began abstinence-based cognitive behavior therapy, a structured method that helps people identify and challenge the thinking patterns that perpetuate their self-destructive behaviors. Treatment lasted about three months. A year later, the researchers assessed the patients' success in staying sober.

As is typical, many patients had relapsedbut only 46 percent of the CBM trained group, compared with 59 percent of the others. Although the researchers cannot be absolutely sure that CBM made the difference, joystick and word tests left them "strongly confident," said Wiers, that "adding this intervention to regular treatment helps people stay abstinent."

One still-abstinent patient told a story illustrating this point. At a party, looking for a Coke, the man opened the refrigerator, but found it full of beer. "Immediately, he made the push movement"he closed the door. "In the heat of the moment, when temptations is high, you have to take that immediate first step in the right direction or it becomes very difficult," commented Wiers. "CBM helps people take this step, before they have time to consciously think, 'Should I take a drink?'"


'/>"/>

Contact: Keri Chiodo
kchiodo@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Scott & White Healthcare -- Round Rock performing surgery without incisions for heartburn
2. Women with eating disorders draw a different picture of themselves than women without
3. Homeless people without enough to eat are more likely to be hospitalized
4. 3-D MRI helps kids with ACL tears -- surgery without harming the growth plate
5. See how they grow: Monitoring single bacteria without a microscope
6. Brain Anomaly Leaves Woman Without Fear
7. Myocarditis can attack hearts without warning
8. New robotic head and neck cancer surgery preserves speech, without scarring
9. Growing up without sibs doesnt hurt social skills
10. Inhibiting prostate cancer without disturbing regular body processes
11. Statins May Not Be as Helpful for Those Without Heart Disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The California State University Institute for Palliative Care ... interested in palliative care education and research. The Symposium, “Innovate. Investigate. Educate: Advancing ... Diego on Sept. 28 and 29, 2017, on the campus of California State University ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Indiana Fiber Network (IFN) ... company later this year. Dyer started as the Chairman of the Management Committee ... establishment of the corporation including the recruitment of investor/owners and development of the business ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Congratulations to Head Over ... on February 12th. Ms. Esparza qualified into this prestigious status after winning ... in Las Vegas, Nevada. Frida is one of approximately 25 gymnasts in the ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... On ... issued a letter to withdraw previous guidance issued by the Obama ... The guidance issued in May 2016 by the Obama Administration came in response ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Rare Disease Report®, which is the ... Rare Disease Day events, hosted by the Rare Disease Legislative Advocates (RDLA) on ... weekly e-newsletter and quarterly publication, will be conducting interviews with patients and advocates ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... Feb 24, 2017 Medivir AB ... for a new Board of Directors that will be ... Nomination Committee comprises representatives of the company,s three largest ... 2016 who have accepted a seat on the Nomination ... of the 2016-2017 Nomination Committee was as follows:  ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... -- Genesis Healthcare Services has merged with Hospice Cloud, a ... Bill Monast , President and CEO of Hospice Cloud ... , executives with Home Health Depot, Inc., the parent ... This acquisition helps Hospice Cloud maintain its position as ... equipment (DME) solutions for the hospice industry. Nathan ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 23, 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... report to their offering. ... The latest research Menopause Drugs Price Analysis and Strategies - 2016, ... The research answers the following questions: What ... are they positioned in the Global Menopause market? What ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: