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To Change the DUI Narrative, Perhaps We Should Change our View of Alcoholism

Posted by Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney | Mar 20, 2015 | 0 Comments


If you listen to fervent advocacy groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, you might believe that even taking a sip of an adult beverage and getting behind the wheel puts everyone else on the roadways in grave danger. In reality, it's the heavy, out-of-control drinkers who are most often arrested on DUI charges.

There are similar misconceptions about alcohol abuse and treatment. Americans have it drilled into their heads that 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous are the only real way to cure alcoholism. But the truth is, there are much more effective ways of addressing drinking-related problems.

An excellent article on this topic was published in the April edition of The Atlantic. (It's lengthy, but well worth the read.) Among some of the revelations in the piece are:

The most reliable research on the success rate of AA is between 5% and 8% - far from the advertised 75% rate of the organization.

According to The Handbook of Alcoholism Treatment Approaches, out of 48 suggested treatment methods for alcoholism, 12-step programs rank 38th.

A federally-funded survey found that about 20% of alcohol dependent individuals subsequently continue to consume alcohol in reasonable amounts later in their lives with no ill-effects.

AA was originally designed to address severe drinkers; but today, only 15% of those with alcohol use-disorder are considered to be extremely heavy imbibers.

Clinical trials involving naltrexone, a medication which has been on the U.S. market since the 1990s, reveal a 78% success rate in getting alcoholics to control their drinking urges - without quitting cold turkey.

If we can finally learn to embrace science-based methods to combating alcoholism, maybe more reasonable approaches to drinking and driving will soon follow.

About the Author

Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney

Highly rated by former clients, who praise his warm, knowledgeable courtside manner and his fierce determination to reduce or eliminate charges. An accomplished speaker, author, and leader in DUI defense statewide Kevin is well respected by judges, prosecutors, and other attorneys across the State of Washington for his expertise, integrity, and knowledge in the complicated forensic science area of impaired driving allegations.


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