Alcohol problem resolution in the severely mentally ill: A preliminary investigation

Paul R. Stasiewicz, Clara M. Bradizza, Stephen A. Maisto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Participants (N=25) with a severe mental illness who were receiving mental health outpatient treatment at a state psychiatric hospital were interviewed regarding the resolution of their alcohol problem. Resolution was defined as abstinence or non-hazardous, consequence-free drinking for a minimum of 1 year. Participants were interviewed regarding their drinking history, life events, reasons for change and factors maintaining change. The results reveal that negative life events and weighing the pros and cons of drinking are more often associated with entry into treatment than positive life events and advice or warnings from others. In addition, resolution occurs with and without a history of alcohol-specific treatment and includes both abstinent and non-abstinent drinking outcomes. Although preliminary, these results are consistent with previous research investigating the resolution of alcohol problems in individuals with only a diagnosis of alcohol abuse or dependence. Unique to this population is the finding that control of psychological symptoms was identified as an important maintenance factor during the first 12 months following the resolution date. The limitations of the current study, as well as the implications of these findings for future research investigating processes of change in the severely mentally ill are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-222
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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