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What type of therapy is effective in treating alcoholism?

Howard J. Shaffer, PhD
Addiction Medicine
Project MATCH (Matching Alcoholism Treatments to Client Heterogeneity) is the largest and most careful study of alcoholism treatment conducted so far. Researchers sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism compared 12-step facilitation with cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy (a catch-all term for techniques that attempt to increase motivation) over a 90-day treatment period. Over all, the three treatments were about equally effective. Patients in all three groups had a higher rate of abstinence (not drinking) and a lower rate of binge drinking both immediately after treatment and a year later.

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