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For Immediate Release:
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Gretchen Johnson

Office of Public Relations
Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Road
Mailstop H-DH3-15
Teaneck, NJ 07666
(201) 692-7032

285 Madison Avenue
Mailstop M-MS0-01
Madison, NJ 07940
(973) 443-8661

Program Begins for Problem Drinkers

New Program for Problem Drinkers Begins Screenings in December at FDU

Teaneck, NJ (December, 2000) — Can someone with a drinking problem learn to drink in moderation? Traditionally, the alcohol treatment community has answered a resounding "no" to this question. However, a thorough review of research suggests that some problem drinkers, specifically those who are less alcohol dependent, can learn to drink in moderation.

A new eight-week program, designed for less dependent problem drinkers, begins screening at Fairleigh Dickinson University in December. This is for individuals who are experiencing difficulties related to drinking but have a less severe alcoholism problem.

The program allows the individual to choose either moderation or abstinence as their goal. According to Dr. Cynthia Radnitz, who directs the new program, "Research has shown that individuals who are less severely alcohol dependent can successfully learn to control their alcohol intake and become ‘social drinkers’."

Only about 5% of problem drinkers are severely dependent alcoholics. For the other 95%, their drinking problems may go undetected or they may refuse to get help. This refusal, says Radnitz, often reflects a concern that treatment will be too costly, too time-consuming, that a goal of abstinence will be enforced, or that their problems are not severe.

There are reasons, she says, to consider moderation for less severely dependent drinkers. Most people with alcohol problems will initially attempt to become moderate drinkers on their own. Learning skills may improve the chances of success. After an attempt at moderation, if it is clear that the problem drinker will not be successful, the clinician is in a better position to help them pursue a goal of abstinence. In addition, many people who become moderate drinkers will later shift to abstinence. And finally, problem drinkers are more likely to pursue treatment if they are not forced to pursue a goal of abstinence.

During the month of December and the first two weeks of January, possible participants will be screened over the telephone and initial assessments will be scheduled.

The cost of the program is $400-500 and is insurance reimbursable depending on coverage. Interested participants should call (201) 692-2645 or (201) 692-2306 or e-mail at radnitz@alpha.fdu.edu.

Copyright © 2001, Fairleigh Dickinson University. All rights reserved.
This release authored with FDU Pagetoaster.