Bangalore: Family members involved in the
treatment and aftercare of alcohol addicts prevent them from
relapse, a new study has found.
The study by Bangalore-based National Institute of
Mental Health and Neuro Sciences examined the impact of
involving family members in preventing relapse among men
receiving treatment for alcohol dependence.
The findings of the study highlight the importance of
involving family members in the treatment and aftercare for
persons with alcohol dependence, Pratima Murthy, Head of
Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, said.
The support of family members in recovery from any
chronic illness is taken for granted, particularly in South
Asian countries, where individuals rely primarily on families
for care and support and alcohol addiction is one such health
condition, she said.
Referring to the study, she said 90 men receiving
inpatient treatment for alcohol dependence were randomly
assigned to receive either individual treatment for preventing
relapse, dyadic intervention (involving a family member along
with the individual) or routine treatment.
Following a three-week inpatient stay, all the
patients were advised to maintain follow up as outpatients,
In the dyadic group, the family member, most often the
spouse, actively participated in 8-12 sessions with a
therapist, where sessions were focused on understanding the
problem of addiction, monitoring medication, supporting the
individual to handle relapse triggers, stress of day-to-day
living, time and budget management and problem solving.
The `dyad` (family member) was actively involved in
post discharge planning, including adherence to follow-up.
Post discharge was scheduled for all three groups at monthly
intervals for the first six months after discharge.
For the dyadic intervention group, the family member
was required to attend all follow-up sessions along with the
person receiving treatment. Family members actively monitored
treatment adherence at follow up.