Preventing alcohol addiction

One of the major projects of the team Recherche et intervention sur les substances psychoactives-Québec - Psychoactive Substances Research and Intervention-Quebec), which includes researchers in psychology, in psychoeducation, in criminology and in health sciences and which is directed by Serge Brochu, is called Alcochoix+. This alcohol consumption management program is a service offered to drinkers at risk of becoming alcoholic, and is aimed at helping them to reduce their consumption before it becomes a serious problem. The development of Alcochoix+ is the result of a request from the Ministry of Health and Social Services in an effort to diversify the services offered in this area. At the time, treatment was only available in Quebec for persons already diagnosed with alcohol abuse or addiction. 

By September 2010, Alcochoix+ had already been established in 58 health and social services centres in 11 of the 16 administrative regions of Quebec. The program has even been adapted and introduced in Switzerland! The first evaluations carried out by the research team are encouraging. It can be seen that Alcohoix+ reaches both men and women and that the counsellors are satisfied with the content of the guide. Studies carried out following the initial pilot projects indicate that the vast majority of program users are satisfied and intend to recommend the program to friends, emphasizing that it helped them to change their drinking habits. The researchers also analyzed possible obstacles to the program's success, in particular a lack of financial resources, high personnel turnover rates and a lack of publicity. 

The establishment of Alcochoix+ has increased the diversity of addiction services available in Quebec, helping to provide appropriate treatment for every individual. This program has the significant advantage of being applicable before the problem occurs, thus preventing the appearance of a serious addiction. The research team is now planning to apply this type of intervention to other addictions, in particular to gambling addiction.


Équipe Recherche et intervention sur les substances psychoactives-Québec


Serge Brochu, Université de Montréal

Regular members

  • Didier Acier, Centre Dollard-Cormier 
  • Jacques Bergeron, Université de Montréal 
  • Karine Bertrand, Université de Sherbrooke 
  • Suzanne Brissette, Université de Montréal 
  • Natacha Brunelle, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières 
  • Louis-Georges Cournoyer, Université de Montréal 
  • Magali Dufour, Université de Sherbrooke 
  • Maxime Gagnon, Domrémy Mauricie/Centre-du-Québec 
  • Michel Landry, Centre Dollard-Cormier 
  • Myriam Laventure, Université de Sherbrooke 
  • Louise Nadeau, Université de Montréal 
  • Chantal Plourde, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières 
  • Élise Roy, Université de Sherbrooke 
  • Hélène Simoneau, Centre Dollard-Cormier 
  • Joël Tremblay, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières