Patterns of drinking and drinking outcomes among drug misusers. 1-year follow-up results

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2000 Jul;19(1):45-50. doi: 10.1016/s0740-5472(99)00097-5.


This article investigates patterns of drinking and drinking outcomes among 753 drug-misusing clients recruited to the National Treatment Outcome Research Study (NTORS). More than one third of those who were drinking at intake reported problematic or highly problematic patterns of alcohol consumption. About one third of the sample were abstinent from alcohol at intake and at follow-up. Some improvements in drinking behavior were found at 1-year follow-up, especially among the heaviest and most problematic drinkers. Improvements were specifically related to patterns of preintake drinking behavior. The majority of clients made little change to their pattern of pretreatment drinking behavior and the continued heavy drinking of many drinkers at follow-up is a disappointing finding. Drinking problems have been given insufficient attention in the treatment of illicit substance misuse problems, and efforts should be made to develop and strengthen the assessment and treatment of drinking problems among drug misusers.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / complications
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Narcotics / therapeutic use
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / complications
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Residential Treatment / statistics & numerical data
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Temperance / statistics & numerical data
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom


  • Narcotics
  • Methadone