A relatively small number of people are alcoholics but many more people drink more than is good for them. However, only 10-20% of people with alcohol problems ever seek out or take part in treatment. Researchers in the Netherlands looked into the effectiveness of a web-based, self-help treatment called Drinking Less which is made up of motivational, cognitive and self-control information and exercises. It helps problem drinkers decide if they really want to change their consumption, helps them set realistic goals for acheiving change and provides tools and exercises to maintain change and prevent relapses. Researchers in Holland studied 378 people who had used the Drinking Less web site between May and November 2007. They found that after six months the participants decreased their average weekly drinking and that 18.8% changed their drinking patterns to 'low-risk' drinking. For 84% of the participants this was the first time they had sought help to deal with their problem drinking.
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