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The impact of detoxification on the coping strategies in a sample of inpatient alcoholics


In our study we investigate some aspects of the coping strategies and the impact of detoxification on these characteristics in a sample of inpatient alcohol dependent individuals.

Materials and methods

The sample of the study comprised 200 Caucasian, Greek nationality patients (147 males, 53 females) randomly selected over a 3-year period, who fulfilled the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse/dependence, treated on an inpatient basis at the specialized drug and alcohol addiction service of the Athens University Psychiatric Clinic at the Eginition Hospital. Detoxification treatment was comprised of vitamin replacement (vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E) and oral administration of diazepam (30-60 mg daily in divided doses), with a gradual taper off over a week. Subjects were assessed with the Pilowski scale for hypochondria, the Leyton scale for obsessive-compulsive symptoms and the Sifneos scale for alexithymia. The questionnaires were administered at the beginning of the detoxification period and at discharge. Descriptive statistics are used for the presentation of results.


Mean age ± SD of the sample was 47,4 ± 11,7 years and mean daily alcohol consumption was 359,9 ± 266,8 gr/day. Upon admission the mean scores on the different scales were as follows: Leyton: 14,8 ± 2,7, Pilowski: 9,32 ± 2,63, Sifneos: 11,3 ± 2,6. After completion of detoxification the scores were: Leyton: 9,07 ± 3,05 (P<.000), Pilowski: 4,67 ± 2,58 (p<.000), and Sifneos: 10,6 ± 2,2 (NS).


Detoxification from alcohol appears to significantly change some aspects of the coping strategies of alcohol dependent individuals. Further investigation of this issue should be undertaken.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Tzavellas, E., Paparrigopoulos, T., Karaiskos, D. et al. The impact of detoxification on the coping strategies in a sample of inpatient alcoholics. Ann Gen Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S325 (2008).

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