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Research Analysis: Acceptance of Non-Abstinence Goals

  • Aaron Glogowski

Dr. Michael E. Dunn

Davis, A. K. , & Rosenberg H. (2013). Popularity of Non-Abstinence Goals by Addiction Specialists in the United States. Mindset of Addictive Conducts, 27(4), 1102-1109. doi: 10. 1037/a0030563

Alan K. Davis and Harold Rosenberg have discovered some formerly surprising results from the use of drugs and alcohol recreationally. While the effects of high drug and alcohol use have been checked and proven to be unsafe and unhealthy, recent studies have shown that a managed use of these, otherwise known as non-abstinence, may bring several health benefits. Addiction professionals focusing on material use disorders (SUD) are beginning to open their eyes to new alternatives of medicine therapy for their patients. Even though many of the views are controversial one of the professional world, many clinicians and doctors are starting to turn to the idea of non-abstinence in an attempt to help their patients more in the long term, by giving them short-term goals that are easier to allow them to achieve. In this specific article, Davis and Rosenberg have catalogued their studies from a report that they conducted on the changing behaviour and ideals of specialists in numerous clinical fields, in regards to the practice and execution of non-abstinence.

Davis and Rosenberg conducted their analysis based on earlier surveys that they discovered that had been intended to determine people's ideas on the thought of non-abstinence. They asked the members about how acceptable they thought it would be to administer a suggestion of non-abstinence to patients in eight different categories. They divided these categories based on the kind of compound use disorder, as well as the severity of the condition and the meant end result from the practice. All the survey respondents were then asked (using the eight categories from the prior question) to provide a percentage of patients whom they had recommended a non-abstinence process to. They offered proportions in increments of 25%, from none of them to 100%. Following this, the members were asked to rate its acceptability in several clinical options. The study was concluded with questions about the non-public background of the respondents, such as their work place, and whether or not they had any past history with substance abuse.

The study respondents were largely Caucasian members of the National Relationship of Alcoholism and Medication Addiction Counselors, and over half of them had earlier experience with a element use disorder. The results were in favor of non-abstinence being utilized as a mid-term goal on the way to giving up substance abuse, however, only 32% of respondents said it was appropriate to work with non-abstinence as an end-goal. When the problem emerged to alcohol maltreatment however, 51% decided that non-abstinence was a satisfactory end-goal.

On the other hands, when it emerged to medicine or alcohol dependence, much fewer participants agreed with non-abstinence as an operation. The participants positioned non-abstinence acceptability for drug dependence as 27% for an intermediate procedure, and 15% for an end-goal. They found virtually identical results with alcohol dependence, at 28% and 16% respectively.

No matter which kind of drug or seriousness of the issue, Davis and Rosenberg's members seemed to disagree with non-abstinence more regularly than trust it. At least half said that they would not consider non-abstinence as an operation regardless, regardless of the situation. Most of the respondents who had been against non-abstinence thought it was inadequate, or it did not agree with the treatment school of thought that that they had organized for themselves. Some other reasons why individuals disagreed with non-abstinence included things such as a dread for a condition a patient could have, or worries on the legality of the compound that was being used, or the context in which the patient would be using it (such as underage drinking, or drug utilization in a stressful work place).

Another key player in the willpower of the acceptability of non-abstinence methods was the surroundings in which pros would be recommending the task. In both rehab and detoxification programs, the majority of survey participants found it to be always a completely unacceptable treatment, with unacceptability ratings at 74% and 68% respectively. However, outpatient programs, DUI/DWI education programs, and 3rd party practices found significantly greater results in conditions of acceptability, with unacceptability ratings at 57%, 45%, and 28% respectively.

Davis and Rosenberg also noticed various characteristics with their respondents to find out whether there was any relationship between those factors and their popularity of non-abstinence programs. They discovered that participants who experienced history with alcoholic beverages or medication related issues tended to disagree with non-abstinence programs more than those who experienced no record with drugs and alcohol, however, the deviation was so small that it was deemed insignificant.

In watching the results with their review, Davis and Rosenberg observed some external circumstances with regards to their theme of discussion. They realized in conducting the studies that there is a possibility of bias, especially in regards to whether or not the addiction professional was inclined to work with the client. They found that some professionals were simply unwilling to utilize clients who were wanting to continue taking drugs or alcohol in moderation. These experts were less likely to accept the possibility of non-abstinence treatments. These same experts also accepted the actual fact that some of their clients may resort to non-abstinence methods anyway, even if indeed they didn't prescribe or condone the procedure.

Davis and Rosenberg's review, when compared with previous studies about them, discovered that American addiction specialists had become more acknowledging of non-abstinence in conditions of drinking than they had been 20 years prior. The amount of participants who ranked non-abstinence as a satisfactory mid-goal for alcohol abusers is doubly many as twenty years before their survey. Davis and Rosenberg declare that the upsurge in acceptance could be scheduled to several factors, including a knowledge of non-abstinence as a potential method for reducing long-term injury, and a reduced amount of total abstinence, or the 12-step program.

Other areas still look like more accepting of non-abstinence in general, whether it's for a mid-goal or an end-goal. From previous studies, Rosenberg found that the United Kingdom got over an 80% approval rate of non-abstinence for liquor abusers, and a 68% mid-goal as well as a 50% end-goal for liquor dependence. Overall, even though America is slowly but surely becoming more accepting of non-abstinence, they still have quite a distance to visit before they reach the United Kingdom's approval level.

Davis and Rosenberg recognize that their research may be skewed by outdoors factors, such as the study being a web-based review, or an inherent bias with the way that questions were asked. With regard to the outliers, Davis and Rosenberg conclude their study with notice for those practicing non-abstinence as it is now more prevalent, especially in outpatient or self-employed practices.

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