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August 1976

Nonabstinent Drinking Goals in the Treatment of Alcoholism-Nonabstinent Drinking Goals in the Treatment of Alcoholism: A Clinical Typology

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of California, Irvine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976;33(8):923-930. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770080041003

• Traditional views in the field of alcoholism have been that alcoholics must achieve and maintain abstinence from alcohol in order to be rehabilitated. In turn, abstinence has been used as the sole or primary criterion of successful treatment. However, abstinence is not necessarily correlated with improvement in other areas of overall adjustment, such as emotional, interpersonal, vocational, and physical health. The recent advent of nonabstinent alcoholism treatment programs, in addition to other clinical data, suggests the need for more specific definitions of nonabstinence, attenuated drinking, controlled drinking, and normal drinking.

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