A Relapse Prevention Model for Older Alcohol Abusers

  • Larry W. Dupree
  • Lawrence Schonfeld
  • Kristina O. Dearborn-Harshman
  • Nancy Lynn

With the aging of America, interest on improving behavioral health services for older adults has increased, including attention to those with alcohol abuse problems. Early studies focused on the possible benefits of elder-specific, group treatment programs (Kofoed, Tolson, Atkinson, Toth, & Turner, 1987; Schonfeld, Dupree, & Rohrer, 1995) or evaluating the benefits of group treatment approaches for older adults (Carstensen, Rychtarik, & Prue, 1985; Dupree, Broskowski, & Schonfeld, 1984; Graham, Brett, & Baron, 1997; Schonfeld et al., 2000).


Alcohol Dependence Substance Abuse Treatment Alcohol Problem Relapse Prevention Older Adult 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, W. L., & Smith-Cox, N. (1997). Epidemiology of problem drinking among elderly people. In A. M. Gurnack (Ed.), Older adults’ misuse of alcohol, medicines, and other drugs (pp. 1–23). New York: Springer Publishing.Google Scholar
  2. Arroyo, J. A., Miller, W. R., & Tonigan, J. S. (2003). The influence of Hispanic ethnicity on long-term outcomes in three alcohol-treatment modalities. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 64, 98–104. Retrieved February 27th, 2006, from Health & Wellness Resource Center.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Babor, T. F., de la Fuenta, J. R., Saunders, J., & Grant, M. (1992). AUDIT: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test: Guidelines for its use in primary health care. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  4. Barrick, C., & Connors, G. J. (2003, October/November). Relapse prevention and maintaining abstinence in older adults with alcohol use disorders. Drugs & Aging, 19, 583–594, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Benshoff, J. J., Harrawood, L. K., & Koch, D. S. (2003). Substance abuse and the elderly: Unique issues and concerns. Journal of Rehabilitation, 69, 43–48.Google Scholar
  6. Carstensen, L. L., Rychtarik, R. G., & Prue, D. M. (1985). Behavioral treatment of the geriatric alcohol abuser: A long term follow-up study. Addictive Behaviors, 10, 307–311.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (1998). Substance abuse among older adults (TIP Series, No. 26). DHHS Publication No. (SMA): 02–3688. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.Google Scholar
  8. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Alcohol Use Among Older Adults. 2006. Pocket Screening Instruments for Health Care and Social Service Providers. DHHS Publication accessed August 4, 2006
  9. COMBINE Study Research Group. (2006). Combined pharmacotherapies and behavioral interventions for alcohol dependence: The COMBINE Study: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 295, 2003–2017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. De Wildt, W. A. J. M., Schippers, G. M., Van Den Brink, W., Potgieter, A. S., Deckers, F., & Bets, D. (2002). Does psychosocial treatment enhance the efficacy of acamprosate in patients with alcohol problems? Alcohol and Alcoholism, 37, 375–382.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Dupree, L. W., Broskowski, H., & Schonfeld, L. (1984). The Gerontology Alcohol Project: A behavioral treatment program for elderly alcohol abusers. The Gerontologist, 24, 510–516.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Dupree, L. W., & Schonfeld, L. (1998). Older alcohol abusers: Recurring treatment issues. In E. Gomberg, A. Hegedus, & R. Zucker (Eds.), Alcohol problems and aging. (pp. 339–357). Research Monograph No. 3 Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Alchol Abuse and Alcholism.Google Scholar
  13. Dupree, L. W., & Schonfeld, L. (2005). Substance abuse relapse prevention for older adults: A group treatment approach. Center for substance abuse treatment, DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 05–4053. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.Google Scholar
  14. Fenney, G. F. X., Young, R. M. D., Connor, J. P., Tucker, J., & McPherson, A. (2002). Cognitive behavioural therapy combined with the relapse-prevention medication acamprosate: Are short-term treatment outcomes for alcohol dependence improved? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 36, 622–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fink, A., Elliott, M. N., Tsai, M., & Beck, J. C. (2005). An evaluation of an intervention to assist primary care physicians in screening and educating older patients who use alcohol. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 53, 1937–1943.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Fleming, M. (2002). Identification and treatment of alcohol use disorders in the elderly. In A. M. Gurnack, R. Atkinson, & N. J. Osgood (Eds.), Treating alcohol and drug abuse in the elderly (pp. 85–108). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  17. Gomberg, E. S. L. (1980). Drinking and problem drinking among the elderly. Ann Arbor: Institute of Gerontology, University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  18. Graham, K., Brett, P. J., & Baron, J. (1997). A harm reduction approach to treating older adults: The clients speak. In P. G. Erickson, D. M. Riley, Y. W. Cheung, & P. A. O’Hare (Eds.). Harm reduction: A new direction for drug policies and programs (pp. 428–452). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  19. Holder, H., Longabaugh, R., Miller, W. R., & Rubonis, A. V. (1991). The cost effectiveness of treatment for alcoholism: A first approximation. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 52, 517–540.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. HR Report 102–852. (1992). Alcohol abuse and misuse among the elderly. A report by the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health and Long-Term Care of the Select Committee on Aging, House of Representatives.Google Scholar
  21. Johnson, J. L., Wiechelt, S. A., Ahmed, A. U., & Schwartz, R. P. (2003). Outcomes for substance user treatment in women: Results from the Baltimore Drug and Alcohol Treatment Outcomes Study. Substance Use and Misuse, 38(11–13), 1807–1829.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Kanfer, F. (1975). Self-management methods. In F. H. Kanfer & A. P. Goldstein (Eds.), Helping people change: A textbook of methods (pp. 309–355). New York: Pergamon Press, Inc.Google Scholar
  23. Kiefer, F., Jahn, H., Tarnaske, T., Helwig, H., Briken, P., Holzbach, R., et al. (2003). Comparing and combing naltrexone and acamprosate in relapse prevention of alcoholism. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60, 92–99.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kofoed, L., Tolson, R., Atkinson, R. M., Toth, R., & Turner, J. (1987). Treatment compliance of older alcoholics: An elder-specific approach is superior to “mainstreaming”. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 48, 47–51.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Mann, K. (2004). Pharmacotherapy of alcohol dependence: A review of the clinical data. CNS Drugs, 18, 485–504.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Marlatt, G. A. (1976). The Drinking Profile: A questionnaire for the behavioral assessment of alcoholism. In E. J. Mash & L. G. Terdal (Eds.), Behavior therapy assessment: Diagnosis, design, and evaluation (pp. 121–137). New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  27. Marlatt, G. A., & Gordon, J. R. (1980). Determinants of relapse: Implications for the maintenance of behavior change. In P. O. Davidson & E. O. Davidson (Eds.), Behavior therapy assessment: Diagnosis, design, and evaluation (pp. 410–452). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  28. Marlatt, G. A., & Gordon, J. R. (1985). Relapse prevention: Maintenance strategies in the treatment of addictive behaviors. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  29. Marsh, J. C., Thomas, J., D’Aunno, T. A., & Smith, B. D. (2000). Increasing access and providing social services to improve drug abuse treatment for women with children. Addiction, 95(8), 1237–1247.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Mayfield, D., McLeod, G., & Hall, P. (1974). The CAGE questionnaire: Validation of a new alcoholism screening instrument. American Journal of Psychiatry, 131, 1121–1128.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Moos, R. M., Mertens, J. R., & Brennan, P. L. (1993). Patterns of diagnosis and treatment among late-middle-aged and older substance abuse patients. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 54, 479–487.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. O’Connell, H., Chin, A., Hamilton, F., Cunningham, C., Walsh, J. B., Coakley, D., et al. (2004). A systematic review of the utility of self-report alcohol screening instruments in the elderly. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 19, 1074–1086.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Oslin, D. W. (2005). Treatment of late-life depression complicated by alcohol dependence. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 13, 491–500.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Satre, D. D., Mertens, J. R., & Weisner, C. (2004). Gender differences in treatment outcomes for alcohol dependence among older adults. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 65(5), 638.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Schonfeld, L., & Dupree, L. W. (1991). Antecedents of drinking for early- and late-onset elderly alcohol abusers. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 52, 587–591.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Schonfeld, L., & Dupree, L. W. (1997). Treatment alternatives for older alcohol abusers. In A. Gurnack (Ed.), Older adults’ misuse of alcohol, medicines, and other drugs (pp. 113–131). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  37. Schonfeld, L., Dupree, L. W., Dickson-Fuhrmann, E., Royer, C. M., McDermott, C. H., Rosansky, J. S., et al. (2000). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of older veterans with substance abuse problems. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, 13, 124–129.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Schonfeld, L., Dupree, L. W., & Rohrer, G. E. (1995). Age-related differences in antecedents to substance abuse. Journal of Clinical Geropsychology, 1, 219–227.Google Scholar
  39. Tonigan, J. S. (2003). Project MATCH treatment participation and outcome by self-reported ethnicity. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 27, 1340–1344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Uziel-Miller, N. D., & Lyons, J. S. (2000). Specialized substance abuse treatment for women and their children: An analysis of program design. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 19, 355–367.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry W. Dupree
    • 1
  • Lawrence Schonfeld
    • 1
  • Kristina O. Dearborn-Harshman
    • 1
  • Nancy Lynn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Aging and Mental Health, Florida Mental Health InstituteUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

Personalised recommendations