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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1989;15(2):209-21.

Evaluation of a program designed to help family and significant others to motivate resistant alcoholics into recovery.

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Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Roger Williams General Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island 02908.


Little empirical work has been done in the alcohol field on the issue of motivating reticent people into treatment. This study explored the impact of a program that involved counseling an alcoholic's social network to eventually confront the alcoholic in urging him or her to seek treatment. Twenty-four social networks (relatives plus significant others) participated in this study and of these, seven formally confronted the alcoholic. Social networks were not randomized to confronting vs nonconfronting conditions, although the comparison groups were equivalent on several important dimensions. Results indicate that alcoholics who were confronted were significantly more likely to enter an alcohol detox or rehabilitation program and to remain continuously abstinent than were nonconfronted alcoholics. This study suggests that the alcoholic's social network can be helped to become highly influential in motivating the alcoholic to seek treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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