Drinkers Often Unsuccessful at Reducing Alcohol Use Despite Motivation

silhouette of man drinking alcohol
silhouette of man drinking alcohol
Not many high-risk individuals who are motivated to reduce alcohol comsumption are successful after 6 months.

HealthDay News — Few high-risk individuals motivated to reduce alcohol consumption are successful after 6 months, according to a study published online in Addiction.

Frank de Vocht, PhD, from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues evaluated self-reported data from 2928 higher-risk drinkers in the Alcohol Toolkit Study. The data were gathered in a series of monthly cross-sectional household surveys of adults aged ≥16 years of age in England.

The researchers found that participants reporting higher initial motivation to reduce alcohol consumption were more likely to have attempted to reduce consumption at follow-up (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.39; 95% CI, 1.75- 3.29). Over the follow-up period, there was an overall reduction in alcohol consumption (adjusted OR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.65-0.79). However, motivation did not have an effect on further reducing consumption, with the difference-in-differences effect actually suggesting average increase (adjusted OR, 1.37; 95% CI, 0.99-1.88).

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“Increasing and higher-risk drinkers in England who report greater motivation to reduce their consumption are more likely to report making an attempt to reduce in the next 6 months but this may not be associated with a reduction in alcohol consumption,” the authors write.


de Vocht F, Brown J, Beard E, et al. Motivation to reduce alcohol consumption and subsequent attempts at reduction and changes in consumption in increasing and higher-risk drinkers in England: a prospective population survey [published online January 25, 2018]. Addiction. doi:10.1111/add.14132