Factors influencing alcohol relapse after treatment in a rehabilitation programme in Kiambu county, Kenya

  • V.N Wainaina
  • I.O Nyabola
  • C.J Othieno


Background: Alcohol dependence is public health hazard that demands medical intervention. However, alcohol relapse is usually a significant setback commonly experienced after treatment.
Objective: To determine the factors influencing relapse after alcohol treatment.
Methodology: This was a case-control study conducted among alcohol addicts after undergoing treatment. Cases included those who relapsed to alcohol use while the controls were those who remained alcohol free for at least 6 months. The study population were randomly selected from the list of clients in the rehabilitation centres. Questionnaires were used to collect data that included Penn Alcohol Craving Scale to measure craving score. Comparisons were done using chi square and independent t tests. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine factors independently associated with alcohol relapse.
Findings: 134 cases and 131 controls were studied. The two groups were not significantly different by age and gender with majority being males in both groups. There was a higher risk of relapse among those who were not married [aOR 4.0 (95% CI 1.9-8.2), p<0.001], who reported trouble sleeping [aOR 4.8 (95% CI 2.3-9.7), p<0.001 and those who were using other drugs besides alcohol [OR 15.9 (95% CI 7.7-34.0), p<0.001]. Individuals who had alcohol relapse had a significantly higher Penn alcohol craving score (PACS) with a mean of 25.3 compared to a mean of 8.8 in those who remained alcohol-free (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Alcohol relapse individuals have a very high craving score. Being unmarried, having sleep disturbance and use of other drugs besides alcohol increased the risk of relapse


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eISSN: 0012-835X