Beating the booze: Did you do it alone?

Recovering alcoholics who did it on their own wanted for study

Medical Research

More than half of people in recovery have not accessed formal treatment.


People who have had issues with alcohol are being invited to participate in an anonymous UNSW study that is hoping to find out how people overcome the habit.

Researchers at the UNSW Social Policy Research Centre have discovered from a global review of alcohol recovery studies that more than half of people in alcohol recovery in many developed countries have not accessed formal treatment.

But Alison Ritter, director of the Drug Policy Modelling Program at the centre, said research on this topic in Australia was limited.

“There have been no estimates to date of how many Australians recover from alcohol problems without accessing treatment,” Professor Ritter said.

“We have a study under way right now to help us estimate the recovery rate in Australia.”

Program research assistant Richard Mellor said the stories of people who overcome their alcohol habit by themselves are often not talked about among researchers and treatment providers.

“People overcome problems with alcohol in many different ways. Some of this is with formal treatment, but we know there are lots of people who don’t access formal treatment yet recover,” he said.

“By tapping into the wisdom of people who have changed their alcohol consumption on their own, we will begin to understand how to deliver treatment in a more grounded and creative way.”

Researchers would like to learn more about the experiences and stories of people who have overcome their alcohol addiction, dependency or habit by themselves.

To participate, call Mr Mellor on (02) 9385-5797 or email Contact is anonymous.