Boston University Test Effectiveness of Treatments
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. 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.
Seabrook uses a variety of therapies in order to address the addiction problem of patients. To learn more visit www.seabrook.org.