Predictors of help-seeking and the temporal relationship of help to recovery among treated and untreated recovered problem drinkers.

This study investigated variables predicting different help-seeking patterns (no treatment, Alcoholics Anonymous participation only, or treatment plus AA participation) by problem drinkers who had maintained stable abstinence (n = 57).

Collaterals verified subjects’ help-seeking and drinking status.

Help-seeking was predicted by greater alcohol-related psycho-social problems, especially in interpersonal relationships, but was not associated with heavier drinking practices or demographic characteristics.

Subjects’ belief that they could solve their own problem deterred help-seeking, whereas relationship problems and being unable to quit on one’s own facilitated help-seeking.

Additional incentives specific to AA were its

  • privacy,
  • anonymity,
  • spiritual aspects,
  • opportunities to help other problem drinkers, and
  • the convenient meetings held at times typically spent drinking.

Many subjects became abstinent before they sought help, especially from treatment programs.

These findings implicate interpersonal factors as primary incentives for help-seeking and suggest that interventions often consolidate, rather than initiate, positive changes in drinking practices.

Research report; Tucker JA. Predictors of help-seeking and the temporal relationship of help to recovery among treated and untreated recovered problem drinkers. Addiction. 90(6):805-9, 1995.

Brief-TSF recognizes these factors and helps to break down denial while appealing to the motivations of the alcoholic. Thus, leading the person through stages of change.