Suppression of ethanol self-administration in alcoholics by contingent time-out from social interactions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In a residential research ward setting six volunteer chronic alcoholics were given daily access to 17 alcoholic drinks provided that a minimum of 40 min elapsed between receiving successive drinks. Each drink contained 1 oz 95-proof ethanol in orange juice. During baseline phases subjects were free to drink and socialize on the dayroom. However, during social time-out phases subjects were not permitted to socialize for the 40 min period following receipt of each drink. This contingent social time-out manipulation was systematically replicated across three conditions which varied with respect to the number of non-contingent ward privileges available. The results show that contingent social time-out suppressed drinking; and its effectiveness depended directly upon the conditions of available privileges. Within individual subjects, contingent time-out was increasingly effective in suppressing drinking as the available privileges were increasingly restricted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-334
Number of pages8
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1974


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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