December 1996

Alcoholism Treatment

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Three treatments for alcoholism equally effective, researchers say

A groundbreaking study of alcoholism treatment has reached the surprising conclusion that all three leading behavioral approaches work equally well for a wide variety of patients, regardless of sex, psychological condition, motivation or the extent of their drinking problem.

The findings undermine long-held beliefs about alcoholism. Treatment professionals have long thought that each of the three therapies was most effective on patients who showed certain traits.

A day in the life of an addict

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A typical day in Addington House drug-rehabilitation centre is more like a well-run summer camp than a boot camp. But the lack of heavy-handed discipline is more than made up for in intensity. Residents are kept talking, thinking, confessing and cross-examining from dawn to bed-time.

``Believe it or not, prison is easier than here,'' says Phillip, who is trying to shake a drug addiction developed in the prison during a 25-year murder sentence. ``It may look soft here, but it's hard.''