Adult Attachment, Emotional Distress, and Interpersonal Problems in Alcohol and Drug Dependency Treatment

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The present study examined the relationship between adult attachment, emotional distress, and interpersonal problems in a sample of alcohol- and other drug-dependent patients. Results indicated that patients with a Preoccupied or Fearful attachment style were overrepresented in this alcohol and other drug-dependent sample. Further, patients with a Preoccupied or Fearful style reported more interpersonal problems and higher levels of anxiety and depression than patients with a Secure or Dismissing style. Clinical implications include assessing attachment styles in alcohol and other drug-dependent patients to identify patients who may need early intervention strategies targeting emotional and interpersonal problems. These strategies may improve alcohol and other drug dependency treatment outcomes as negative affect is a primary relapse trigger and is associated with attrition from treatment.