Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers test effectiveness of treatments for alcoholism, anxiety

Date:
October 7, 2013
Source:
Boston University Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers have studied the effect of behavioral and medication treatments on patients with alcoholism and anxiety and have found that Transdiagnostic cognitive behavioral therapy was more effective in reducing heavy drinking in anxious alcoholics than progressive muscle relaxation therapy.

Domenic Ciraulo, MD, chair of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and David H. Barlow, PhD, professor of psychology at Boston University (BU), have collaborated to study the effect of behavioral and medication treatments on patients with alcoholism and anxiety.

The findings, published in the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy, suggest that Transdiagnostic cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was more effective in reducing heavy drinking in anxious alcoholics than progressive muscle relaxation therapy (PMR). They also found that the addition of medication to either CBT or PMR participants did not decrease their alcohol consumption.

Participants were divided into four groups; one receiving the antidepressant Venlaflaxine coupled with CBT, one receiving Venlaflaxine with PMR, and the other groups receiving a placebo coupled with either CBT or PMR. After 11 weeks the participants in the group receiving a placebo and CBT alone reported their heavy drinking had significantly decreased when compared to the other groups receiving treatment.

"It is vital to find better treatments, whether they are medication therapies or behavioral interventions," said Ciraulo, principal investigator of the study. "This study points to the importance of behavioral approaches to decrease heavy drinking through strategies to improve emotional regulation."

According to the researchers, while anti-depressant medications may help to control anxious feelings, the ability to acknowledge and respond to such intense feelings may be one reason that CBT is effective. This may be why the addition of an anti-depressant to CBT did not lead to improved outcomes.

"The goal of Transdiagnostic CBT in this study was not to directly treat the specific anxiety symptoms of each anxiety disorder, but rather teach broad skills to cope with emotional issues that underlie a cluster of internalizing (mood and anxiety) disorders that often accompany alcoholism and may contribute to its onset and maintenance," said Barlow co-author of the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Domenic A. Ciraulo, David H. Barlow, Suzy Bird Gulliver, Todd Farchione, Sandra B. Morissette, Barbara W. Kamholz, Katherine Eisenmenger, Bonnie Brown, Eric Devine, Timothy A. Brown, Clifford M. Knapp. The effects of venlafaxine and cognitive behavioral therapy alone and combined in the treatment of co-morbid alcohol use-anxiety disorders. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 2013; 51 (11): 729 DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2013.08.003

Cite This Page:

Boston University Medical Center. "Researchers test effectiveness of treatments for alcoholism, anxiety." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007122546.htm>.
Boston University Medical Center. (2013, October 7). Researchers test effectiveness of treatments for alcoholism, anxiety. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007122546.htm
Boston University Medical Center. "Researchers test effectiveness of treatments for alcoholism, anxiety." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007122546.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) A new study says marijuana use could lead to serious heart-related complications. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins