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Risk factors for nonremission among initially untreated individuals with alcohol use disorders.

Moos RH, Moos BS. Risk factors for nonremission among initially untreated individuals with alcohol use disorders. Journal of Studies On Alcohol. 2003 Jul 1; 64(4):555-63.

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OBJECTIVE: This study identified risk factors for 1-year and 8-year nonremission among initially untreated individuals with alcohol use disorders and examined whether a longer duration of professional treatment or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) increased the likelihood of remission, moderated the influence of risk factors on remission status and reduced modifiable risk factors. METHOD: A sample of individuals with alcohol use disorders (N = 473) was recruited at alcoholism information and referral centers and detoxification units and was surveyed at baseline and 1 year, 3 years and 8 years later. At each contact, participants completed an inventory that assessed their alcohol-related problems and personal characteristics and their participation in treatment and AA since the last assessment. RESULTS: An 11-item baseline risk index was associated with 1-year nonremission. Longer duration of treatment and AA in the first year predicted remission and a decline in modifiable risk factors. In addition, longer duration of AA increased the likelihood of remission more among high-risk than among low-risk individuals. The risk factors at 1 year were associated with 8-year nonremission; longer duration of additional treatment or AA was associated with a higher likelihood of 8-year remission and further reductions in modifiable risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: Referral counselors and treatment providers can identify high-risk individuals early in their help-seeking career and intervene to reduce the likelihood of a chronic course of their alcohol use disorder.

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