Controlled Drinking: More Than Just a Controversy

Michael E. Saladin; Elizabeth J. Santa Ana


Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2004;17(3) 

In This Article

Controlled Drinking Strategies Early in the New Millennium

As already noted, the present review of the controlled-drinking literature will emphasize treatment developments that have occurred over the last 3 years. To organize the review, it became apparent that there was a need to define what constitutes a controlled-drinking intervention. It was concluded that any treatment strategy or intervention that addressed an alcohol-related problem and which did not require abstinence as a treatment/intervention goal should be included. Thus, not only should interventions targeting either treatment-seeking alcohol dependent individuals or problem drinkers be considered but also interventions that address alcohol-related problems such as binge drinking in college students. Accordingly, the following discussion is organized by intervention type as follows: (1) BSCT; (2) moderation-oriented cue exposure (MOCE); (3) guided self-change (GSC) treatment; and (4) harm reduction. For each intervention, we provide a general description of its conceptual underpinnings, procedures involved in its application, and recent/relevant clinical research pertaining to its efficacy. On a final note, we will briefly comment on a relatively new non-Alcoholics Anonymous self-help approach to recovery, Moderation Management, which is specifically inclusive of individuals who are interested in controlling their drinking.