Family member involvement in relapse prevention improves alcohol dependence outcomes: a prospective study at an addiction treatment facility in India

J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2010 Jul;71(4):581-7. doi: 10.15288/jsad.2010.71.581.


Objective: The aims of this study were to test if outcomes would be different when family members of alcohol-dependent individuals were included in intervention and to examine the factors associated with relapse during a 6-month follow-up period.

Method: Ninety male participants admitted for 3 weeks at an inpatient facility in India were randomly assigned to individual relapse prevention (IRP), dyadic relapse prevention (DRP), and treatment as usual (TAU), with 30 participants in each group. In IRP, intervention was administered to the individual participant. In DRP, both the participant and a family member were included in intervention. In all three conditions, family members stayed in the facility with participants. Participants were followed up for 6 months after discharge from the treatment center.

Results: DRP consistently performed better than TAU on all of the outcomes (reduction in quantity of alcohol, drinking days, and number of days with dysfunction in family, occupational, and financial dimensions). DRP participants also reported a significant reduction in the quantity of alcohol, drinking days, and family problems, compared with IRP. Results of Cox regression showed that being in IRP/TAU groups, early-onset dependence (<25 years), and paternal history of alcohol dependence were associated with relapse after adjusting for baseline alcohol use and other covariates.

Conclusions: Findings provide evidence for the effectiveness of Western-based family-oriented intervention for alcohol-dependent patients in India; also, findings might help to alert treatment providers that some subsets of alcohol users might need more tailored interventions and rigorous monitoring during follow-up.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / ethnology*
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control*
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Behavior, Addictive / ethnology
  • Behavior, Addictive / prevention & control
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Family / ethnology*
  • Family / psychology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • India / ethnology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult