An empowerment process: Successful recovery from alcohol dependence

Mei Yu Yeh, Hui Lian Che*, Li Wei Lee, Fen Fang Horng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

18 Scopus citations


Aims. The purpose of this study was to explore the concepts and processes for successful abstinence from alcohol for Taiwanese Alcoholics Anonymous members. Background. Attempting to identify the psychological and social influences upon alcohol consumption remission outside of alcoholism treatment could help professionals to engage in a broad array of community interventions in an informed fashion. Methods. Grounded theory method was utilized in this study. The study chose nine participants who had succeeded in abstinence, using theoretical sampling and conducted in-depth interviews by an open-ended questionnaire. Results. The results of this study indicated that the core of the process during which alcoholic individuals succeeded in abstaining from further alcohol consumption was an empowerment process for the involved individual. Alcoholics felt that their family, interpersonal relationships, jobs and personal finances all had been at 'rock-bottom' level following a long period of alcohol dependence. This feeling caused the individual to experience an emotion of a loss of control and provoked the arousal of an alcoholic's inner consciousness levels, this then resulting in the generation of a driving force for abstinence from alcohol for these individuals. Conclusions. The expansion of an individual's internal awakening power helps the individual to obtain assistance and to resist the temptation of further alcohol consumption. Therefore, the power derived by individuals from the stages of repositioning, releasing, active sharing, resistance and assistance are the maintenance factors for an individual's empowerment process that help maintain the successful recovery from alcohol for the involved individual. Relevance to clinical practice. A good comprehension of the recovery processes for alcoholics, we believe, will trigger clinical professionals to pay appropriate attention to the specific problems and needs of alcoholic individuals, to build an effective resource network for treatment and to help solve alcoholics' physical and psychosocial problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-929
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number7
StatePublished - 04 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Abstinence
  • Alcoholics
  • Empowerment
  • Grounded theory
  • Nurses
  • Nursing


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