Thirty-two chemically dependent alcoholics with significant levels of anxiety or depression were admitted to a double-blind randomised study in which the effect of the substituted benzamide tiapride was compared with that of placebo over a 6-month period. Twenty patients completed the study. Assessments included relevant biochemical and haematological tests, drinking levels and associated behaviour, expressed satisfaction with various areas of life, the Crown-Crisp Experiential Index of neurotic symptoms and questionnaires on self-esteem and alcohol dependence. The results indicated that in comparison with the placebo group, patients treated with tiapride drank less and had longer periods of abstinence. This was associated with improvements in laboratory tests, reduction in neurotic symptoms, gains in self-esteem and increased levels of expressed satisfaction with life situation. The drug was well tolerated and no deleterious effects were noted, suggesting its potential usefulness for this patient group.