The importance of social support in the treatment of alcoholism - a study from Croatia
Social support for recovering alcoholics is a very important element in relapse prevention and maintaining long-term abstinence. Research shows that help from family members is one of the most important factors in recovery, while people with lower social support abstain from alcohol for a shorter time. In the Republic of Croatia, the treatment of alcoholics in the community mainly takes place in Clubs of alcoholics in Treatment (KLA), which were established in the 60s and represent a specific form of therapeutic community led by professionals. Despite long history, KLA and evaluation of their work was not of much attention to the academic community in Croatia. The aim of this paper is, therefore, to examine perceived social support and specific support that alcoholics in treatment receive in KLA in treatment in Zagreb. For conducting this research, two measuring scales were used: The multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and Support received in the Club of alcoholics in treatment. The sample consists of 174 male alcoholics in treatment with an average age of 57,5 years. The data were processed in the SPSS for Windows by descriptive method and hi-square test to determine differences in perceived social support by gender, age, marital status, and the length of treatment. The results show that the highest level of social support receive men who are married or have a partner. Most respondents believe that they can turn to at least one special person if they need help and that their family will help them in their recovery. These results are confirmed by numerous world studies and indicate the great importance of social support in the treatment of alcoholism. However, more research in which the sample consists of female respondents is needed given that most of the sample in similar studies also consists of male respondents.