A Feasibility Study of an Intervention for Structured Preparation before Detoxification in Alcohol Dependence: the SPADe trial.

Estimates suggest that alcohol-related harm costs the NHS in England £3.5bn a year. Of an estimated 1.6 million people with some degree of alcohol dependence, some 250,000 are believed to be moderately or severely dependent and may benefit from intensive treatment however outcomes from medically assisted withdrawal are often poor with high relapse rates. Detox is costly both financially and through individuals with alcohol dependence who experience multiple detoxifications showing withdrawal-induced cognitive impairment.


In the UK an innovative group intervention for preparation for alcohol detoxification, based on CBT Relapse Prevention interventions, developed by members of the research team, reduced detox drop outs, and improved outcomes at 1, 3 months and 6 months. SPADe builds on this preliminary research and aims to refine the preparatory intervention and assess the feasibility of conducting a large scale evaluation for people with moderate to severe alcohol dependence, as an adjunct to usual care, consisting of planned detoxification and aftercare.