Relapse by Alcohol Abusers

Roy W. Pickens, Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Jerry W. Spicer, Dace S. Svikis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


During the first year after treatment, 44% of a sample of alcohol abusers reported relapse to alcohol use. Relapse rate Increased to a peak at 6 months after treatment and then decined. Depressed or anxious mood was the reason most frequently given (31%) for relapse. Of subjects who relapsed, almost half (42%) reported a subsequent return to abstinence which was then maintained for the remainder of the foNowup period. Of these subjects, half (51%) reported the duration of the drinking period to be less than 2 weeks. Of subjects showing a daily drinking pattern prior to treatment, 20% showed a dairy drinking pattern after relapse, 46% showed bouts of drinking and abstinence, and 33% showed abstinence with no further drinking. Of subjects snowing bouts of drinking prior to treatment, none showed a deify drinking pattern after relapse, 44% showed bouts of drinking and abstinence, and 56% showed abstinence with no further drinking. There was no significant effect of sex or age on relapse rate, time to relapse, or reasons for relapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-247
Number of pages4
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1985


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