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Ind Psychiatry J. 2018 Jan-Jun;27(1):73-79. doi: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_27_18.

To identify predictors of relapse in cases of alcohol dependence syndrome in relation to life events.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, Base Hospital, New Delhi, India.
Psychiatrist Wellness Clinic, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
Department of Psychiatry, Airforce Hospital, Halwara, Punjab, India.
Department of Human Development, University of Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India.


Background and Objectives:

Relapse is a complex and dynamic phenomenon that appears to be determined by biological, psychological, and social factors and an interaction among these. This study examined the association between demographic variables, clinical parameters, and psychosocial factors that predict the vulnerability to relapse in cases of alcohol dependence syndrome.

Materials and Methods:

Structured assessments of clinical/demographic parameters, relapse precipitants, life events, and dysfunction were carried out among patients with alcohol dependence syndrome (n = 100) who had relapsed and compared with those (n = 100) who had managed to remain abstinent.


Patients who had relapsed were found to have significantly more positive family history of substance use, past history of alcohol-related comorbidity, experienced a higher number of undesirable life events, and higher negative mood states and social anxiety and dysfunction in social, vocational, personal, family, and cognitive spheres compared to patients who had remained abstinent.


Relapse in alcohol dependents is an interaction of many factors, and multiple layers of assessment may be required to predict relapse. This study provided further evidence in support of the importance of certain clinical/psychosocial factors in relapse in substance dependence. It provides the basis for investigating the correlates of relapse in a wide range of behavioral and substance use problems.


Alcohol dependence syndrome; life events; relapse

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