University of New Mexico Research Associate Professor of Psychology Robert J. Meyers is featured prominently in the January 2007 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine in an article titled "Hi, my name is Amanda and I might be an alcoholic." Meyers is cited in the publication for his work on the community reinforcement approach (CRA) to treating alcohol and substance abuse.
Meyers, who is the coauthor of Get Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading and Threatening, teaches the 33-year-old method that works on the principle that the most effective way to get people to reduce their substance abuse is to make sobriety more rewarding than addiction.
"Some people drink because their personal relationships are terrible," said Meyers in the article. "Others drink because their work is meaningless. Some are depressed. Some are anxious. Some are just bored. A few are burdened with a genetic predisposition for alcoholism. Many drink for an amalgam of all those reasons. But if you ask a person what they want out of life and help them start to achieve it, they're more likely to reduce their drinking that if you just tell them to stop drinking." CRA has garnered many accolades including by the Journal of Studies on Alcohol as among the most cost-effective alcohol treatment programs and has been shown, in studies funded by the National Institutes of Health, more effective than traditional interventions.
A UNM study in 2001 randomly assigned alcoholics to a CRA program or a 12-step treatment program. Over a six-month follow-up period, the CRA participants averaged drinking three percent of drinking days, and those in traditional treatment averaged 19 percent drinking days. Another previous in-patient study, the CRA participants averaged only five percent of days unemployed, but the hospital's Alcohol Anonymous participants averaged 62 percent.
Oprah Magazine Article