Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Positive Thinking May Aid Mentally Ill Alcohol Abusers

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Positive Thinking May Aid Mentally Ill Alcohol Abusers

Article excerpt

SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. -- Enhancing positive thinking may be the best way to help severely mentally ill alcohol abusers reduce their dependence on alcohol, a State University of New York at Buffalo study suggests.

Clara M. Bradizza, Ph.D., and associates at the Research Institute on Addictions at the State University of New York at Buffalo studied the relationship between coping behaviors and substance abuse recovery in 171 patients with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia-spectrum disorder.

Participants were recruited from a university-affiliated, mental health center, dual-diagnosis treatment program.

At the completion of 6 months of substance abuse treatment, they were asked which of four coping strategies they used most to avoid alcohol relapse:

* Positive thinking (e.g., "Thinking how much better off I am without drinking")

* Negative thinking (e.g., "Thinking of the mess I've got myself in because of drinking")

* Avoidance/distraction (e.g., "Keeping away from people who drink")

* Seeking social support (e.g., "Going to an AA meeting")

Positive thinking was negatively related to the total number of drinks over the previous 60 days, the percentage of days patients consumed alcohol, and the average number of drinks during the 60-day period, and was positively related to the percentage of days abstinent from alcohol, Dr. …

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