Cover: Patterns of Alcoholism Over Four Years

Patterns of Alcoholism Over Four Years

Published 1980

by J Michael Polich, David J. Armor, Harriet B. Braiker


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Results from a four-year study of an alcoholic cohort addressing a number of research questions, including both methodological issues and substantive issues about the nature of alcoholism. This paper presents results from three principal study areas, comprising the most important findings of the research: (1) the status of the cohort at four years, including drinking behavior and mortality patterns; (2) the overall social and psychological adjustment of the cohort, the most important question being one of rehabilitation; and (3) patterns of relapse, describing relapse rates at four years and the models used to predict conditions under which relapse occurs. Findings indicate that remission from alcoholism occurs in two modes (long-term abstention and nonproblem drinking); that the prognosis for each mode depends heavily on the alcoholic's other characteristics; and that even patients in remission face substantial problems of social adjustment and significant probabilities of relapse.

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