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J Stud Alcohol. 1997 May;58(3):253-6.

Acceptability of the controlled-drinking goal among alcohol treatment agencies in New South Wales, Australia.

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Waverley Drug and Alcohol Centre, Bondi Junction, NSW, Australia.



A survey was conducted to estimate the acceptability of the controlled drinking goal among treatment services in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, and to compare results with similar surveys carried out elsewhere.


Of all identified alcohol treatment services (N = 295) in NSW, 179 (61%) responded to a mailed questionnaire with useable returns.


Nearly three-quarters of respondents endorsed controlled drinking but half of these reported allocating less than 25% of their clients to this goal. Community-based services and alcohol treatment units were significantly more likely to endorse controlled drinking than were residential or private facilities. Community-based services and alcohol treatment units were also more likely to base the appropriateness of controlled drinking on professional experience and research evidence, whereas residential and private facilities relied more on the disease model or agency policy in making this determination. Respondents with tertiary qualifications were more likely to endorse controlled drinking than those without such qualifications, and these respondents were more likely to be found in community-based services and alcohol treatment units.


The results show widespread support for the controlled drinking goal among NSW alcohol treatment services. This is similar to the reported status of controlled drinking in Britain and Norway and stands in marked contrast to the comparative reluctance of treatment services in North America to endorse the controlled drinking goal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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