New program will help drunk drivers decrease risky drinking behavior
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A University of Michigan program for non-alcoholics who want to reduce their drinking and lower their health risk has helped more than 260 participants cut their alcohol intake by an average of 66 percent, new statistics show.
The dramatic decrease from heavy, risky drinking to a more sensible, healthy approach to alcohol is long-lived, according to the newly compiled data from the DrinkWise program. Three-quarters of participants were still at or below their goal drinking levels nine months after completing the series of one-on-one and group counseling sessions. A quarter of participants chose to stop drinking entirely. The average alcohol intake for those who chose not to abstain entirely dropped from 20 to 22 drinks per week down to 6 to 7 drinks per week.
Now, a modified version of DrinkWise is being offered to those who have been cited or referred by a lawyer, judge or probation officer for driving while impaired. It offers a proven addition to existing court-sponsored options for drivers who are drinking at risky levels or in risky situations.
"These results show that DrinkWise really can help those who are somewhere in the middle of the drinking spectrum, not addicted and dependent, but not feeling completely comfortable about the risks that their level of drinking might bring," says Katherine Klykylo, MHSA, ACSW, who coordinates the program in the M-Fit Health Promotion Division of the U-M Health System.
DrinkWise, which the U-M has offered since 1994, focuses on reducing alcohol intake in people with mild to moderate alcohol problems for health and risk reasons. Based on more than 20 years of Canadian research, it is currently offered only by the U-M, and at locations in North Carolina and Ontario. The new statistics, based on 153 men and 114 women who completed the program, add to prior evidence of its success at helping people wi
Contact: Kara Gavin
University of Michigan Health System