Treating individuals with social anxiety disorder and at-risk drinking: Phasing in a brief alcohol intervention following paroxetine

Sarah W. Book, Suzanne E. Thomas, Joshua P. Smith, Patrick K. Randall, Matt G Kushner, Gail A Bernstein, Sheila M Specker, Peter M. Miller, Carrie L. Randall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Paroxetine alone is not sufficient to decrease alcohol use in socially anxious alcoholics seeking anxiety treatment. We tested the hypothesis that adding a brief-alcohol-intervention (BI) to paroxetine would decrease alcohol use. All subjects (N= 83) had a diagnosis of social anxiety disorder, endorsed drinking to cope with anxiety, were NIAAA-defined at-risk drinkers, and were randomized to either paroxetine alone, or paroxetine plus BI. Both groups showed significant improvement in both social anxiety severity (F(5,83). = 61.5, p<. 0.0001) and drinking to cope (e.g. F(4,79). = 23, p<. 0.0001) and these two constructs correlated with each other (B= 3.39, SE. = 0.696, t(71). = 4.88, p<. 0.001). BI was not effective at decreasing alcohol use (e.g. no main effect of group, all p values >0.3). Paroxetine decreased social anxiety severity in the face of heavy drinking and decreasing the anxiety was related to a concurrent decrease in coping related drinking. BI was not effective at decreasing drinking or drinking to cope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-258
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013

Keywords

  • At-risk drinking
  • Brief interventions
  • Drinking to cope
  • Social anxiety
  • Social phobia

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