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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2000 Oct;19(3):259-65.

Depression after alcohol treatment as a risk factor for relapse among male veterans.

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HSR&D Center for Mental Healthcare and Outcomes Research, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, 2200 Fort Roots Drive, Building 58, Little Rock, AR 72114, USA.


We examined the association between relapse-to-drinking and depressive symptomatology measured during inpatient treatment for alcohol disorder and 3 months posttreatment. Data were obtained from 298 veterans who completed 21-day inpatient treatment. Follow-up interviews were conducted at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months posttreatment. We used multiple logistic regression to assess the association between relapse and baseline/3-month posttreatment measures of depression (Beck Depression Inventory; BDI), controlling for important covariates. Our results showed that (a) the mild-to-moderately symptomatic participants (BDI = 14-19) at 3 months posttreatment were on average 2.9 times more likely than the nondepressed to have relapsed across follow-ups, and (b) the severely symptomatic participants (BDI = 20+) at 3 months posttreatment were on average 4.9 times more likely to have relapsed across follow-ups. Other analyses revealed that those with persistent depressive symptomatology reported at both baseline and 3 months posttreatment did not experience worse outcomes that those who reported symptomatology at 3 months posttreatment alone.

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