Controlled Drinking

Description of the Strategy

The first clinical reports of controlled drinking as a treatment outcome for alcohol-dependent individuals appeared in the literature more than 40 years ago. Initially, reports focused on the observation that some alcoholics in abstinence-oriented treatment programs developed a pattern of controlled social drinking as opposed to total abstinence. Thus, in the 1960s, the term controlled drinking referred to a treatment outcome as opposed to a specific behavioral treatment strategy. With the landmark studies of Mark and Linda Sobell in the 1970s, behavioral researchers actively pursued specific therapeutic strategies to facilitate a goal of moderate alcohol consumption.

Historically, the term controlled drinking has been poorly defined, referring simply to nonproblematic drinking. Currently, the definition of moderate drinking as a treatment ...

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