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Preferences Regarding Treatment for Alcohol Problems

Sven Andréasson, Anna-Karin Danielsson, Sara Wallhed-Finn
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agt067 694-699 First published online: 10 July 2013


Aims: The aim of the study was to investigate preferences in the general population regarding type of treatment for alcohol problems and the preferred setting for delivery of treatment and reasons for not seeking treatment for alcohol problems. Method: Data were from a random, cross-sectional, interview survey of 9005 of the Swedish general population. Proportions of respondents preferring a certain treatment and source of treatment, and reasons suggested for why people do not seek treatment, were analysed in relation to number of standard drinks, employment status, education and income. Results: Most frequently endorsed forms of treatment were alcoholics anonymous or similar support groups and psychotherapy. More than 50% preferred psychiatric or addiction specialist treatment. Around 10% preferred primary health care and around 20% the occupational health services. About 5% preferred the social services. Respondents rated ‘feeling ashamed’ as the most important reason why people would not seek help for alcohol problems. Conclusion: Large majorities of the respondents preferred treatment in the health care services and few in the social services. Internet-based treatment and pharmacological treatment attracted few respondents, the majority preferring more traditional forms of treatment. Alcohol treatment remains a stigmatized field, evidenced by shame being the most commonly reported reason for not seeking treatment.

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