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Therapy cuts alcohol intake, slows fibrosis. (Reduction, not Abstinence).

BOSTON -- In a study of 789 extremely heavy drinkers, sustained reduction of alcohol consumption to a moderate level was achieved with a brief intervention technique that stressed reduction rather than abstinence.

The reduction was subsequently associated with only a slight progression of liver fibrosis, Dr. Charles Lieber said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

"The magnitude of the alcohol intake reduction was extraordinary. Our participants averaged 17.5 drinks daily but, after 30 days of therapy, averaged 2.5 drinks a day," said Dr. Lieber of the Bronx (N.Y) Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

On average, patients remained in the study for 2 years; some participated for as long as 5 years.

At monthly visits, nurses and physicians discussed the patients' medical problems in relation to the drinking and urged them to decrease their alcohol intake.
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Author:Mulcahy, Nicholas
Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
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