Remembering good times helps alcoholics stay sober

April 17th, 2010 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS  

London, April 17 (IANS) Recovering alcoholics who focus on positive experiences in their past may stay sober, a new study says.
The finding, by Sarah Davies and Gail Kinman, professors at the University of Bedfordshire, had at least 101 members of Alcoholics Anonymous (53 percent male) completing questionnaires that assessed the extent to which they were oriented towards the past, present or future snd and whether this orientation was mostly positive or negative.

They were also asked about their spiritual experiences, level of abstinence, compulsion to drink and anxiety.

The results showed that problem drinkers who were oriented towards the past and who had a positive view of their previous life experiences were more likely to be successful in managing alcohol dependency than those with a more negative focus on the past.

Participants who held a present hedonistic orientation (focusing on having fun here and now) also tended to experience stronger compulsions to drink alcohol.

High levels of spirituality were also found to be a protective factor in helping recovering alcoholics stay sober and manage the anxiety associated with addiction and withdrawal.

Sarah Davies said: “Our findings suggest that therapeutic interventions that help problem drinkers view their past experiences more positively might aid recovery.”

“It is also likely that helping addicts develop a more balanced time perspective, where they are not exclusively oriented towards the past, the present or the future, will be helpful,” Davies added.

“The findings of this study also highlight the important role played by spirituality in helping people recover from alcoholism” said Davies, according to a release of the British Psychological Society.

These findings were presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference at Stratford-upon-Avon.

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