Recent Developments in Alcoholism: Volume 6

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Early alcohol consumption by some young people will result in an alcohol use disorder-that is, they will meet diagnostic criteria for either alcohol abuse or dependence. Figure 2 shows that the highest prevalence of alcohol dependence is among people ages Call to Action , page 4. Approximately 40 percent of individuals who report drinking before age 15 also describe their behavior and drinking at some point in their lives in ways consistent with a diagnosis for alcohol dependence.

This is four times as many as among those who do not drink before age Alcohol consumption by underage college students is commonplace, although it varies from campus to campus and from person to person.

Medical, social, and political planners also need to turn to the expanding body of knowledge in the field of chemical dependence reflected here. The volume is therefore of value to a contemporary readership and to those who will turn to it in future years. The addition of alcohol has only made it more so. The book provides a comprehensive assessment of alcohol problems among adolescents and young adults, and it enhances our fund of information concerning the diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately prevention of alcohol problems in this vulnerable population.

Mendelson, M.

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Theory informs the presented research in a way that will please both the person who likes to consider cuases and the person who likes to see results. The writing is clear and straightforward, with little jargon or minutia. Even the neurological section is accessible to the relatively physiologically naive reader. All healthcare providers, researchers, and students involved in the treatment of patients with alcoholism and addictions are the intended audience.

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It will also be useful for anyone interested in spirituality as a model for helping chronic illnesses. This isolation can lead to marital conflict and divorce , or contribute to domestic violence. Alcoholism can also lead to child neglect , with subsequent lasting damage to the emotional development of the alcoholic's children.

For example, they can become afraid of their parents, because of their unstable mood behaviors. In addition, they can develop considerable amount of shame over their inadequacy to liberate their parents from alcoholism. As a result of this failure, they develop wretched self-images, which can lead to depression. As with similar substances with a sedative-hypnotic mechanism, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines , withdrawal from alcohol dependence can be fatal if it is not properly managed.

With repeated heavy consumption of alcohol, these receptors are desensitized and reduced in number, resulting in tolerance and physical dependence. When alcohol consumption is stopped too abruptly, the person's nervous system suffers from uncontrolled synapse firing.

This can result in symptoms that include anxiety , life-threatening seizures , delirium tremens , hallucinations, shakes and possible heart failure. Severe acute withdrawal symptoms such as delirium tremens and seizures rarely occur after 1-week post cessation of alcohol. The acute withdrawal phase can be defined as lasting between one and three weeks.

In the period of 3—6 weeks following cessation increased anxiety, depression, as well as sleep disturbance, is common; [67] fatigue and tension can persist for up to 5 weeks as part of the post-acute withdrawal syndrome ; about a quarter of alcoholics experience anxiety and depression for up to 2 years. These post-acute withdrawal symptoms have also been demonstrated in animal models of alcohol dependence and withdrawal.

A kindling effect also occurs in alcoholics whereby each subsequent withdrawal syndrome is more severe than the previous withdrawal episode; this is due to neuroadaptations which occur as a result of periods of abstinence followed by re-exposure to alcohol. Individuals who have had multiple withdrawal episodes are more likely to develop seizures and experience more severe anxiety during withdrawal from alcohol than alcohol-dependent individuals without a history of past alcohol withdrawal episodes. The kindling effect leads to persistent functional changes in brain neural circuits as well as to gene expression.

For example, the CIWA-Ar objectifies alcohol withdrawal symptoms in order to guide therapy decisions which allows for an efficient interview while at the same time retaining clinical usefulness, validity, and reliability, ensuring proper care for withdrawal patients, who can be in danger of death. A complex mixture of genetic and environmental factors influences the risk of the development of alcoholism. It is not entirely clear whether this association is causal, and some researchers have been known to disagree with this view.

Severe childhood trauma is also associated with a general increase in the risk of drug dependency. Cortical degeneration due to the neurotoxic effects increases impulsive behaviour, which may contribute to the development, persistence and severity of alcohol use disorders.

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There is evidence that with abstinence, there is a reversal of at least some of the alcohol induced central nervous system damage. Alcohol is the most available, widely consumed, and widely abused recreational drug. Beer alone is the world's most widely consumed [79] alcoholic beverage ; it is the third-most popular drink overall, after water and tea. Males had higher rates than females for all measures of drinking in the past month: any alcohol use Genetic differences that exist between different racial groups affect the risk of developing alcohol dependence.

For example, there are differences between African, East Asian and Indo-racial groups in how they metabolize alcohol.

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These genetic factors partially explain the differing rates of alcohol dependence among racial groups. African Americans and Native Americans with this allele have a reduced risk of developing alcoholism. Misuse, problem use, abuse, and heavy use of alcohol refer to improper use of alcohol, which may cause physical, social, or moral harm to the drinker. According to the NIAAA, men may be at risk for alcohol-related problems if their alcohol consumption exceeds 14 standard drinks per week or 4 drinks per day, and women may be at risk if they have more than 7 standard drinks per week or 3 drinks per day.

It defines a standard drink as one ounce bottle of beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1. An inference drawn from this study is that evidence-based policy strategies and clinical preventive services may effectively reduce binge drinking without requiring addiction treatment in most cases. The term alcoholism is commonly used amongst laypeople, but the word is poorly defined. The WHO calls alcoholism "a term of long-standing use and variable meaning", and use of the term was disfavored by a WHO expert committee.

The Big Book from Alcoholics Anonymous states that once a person is an alcoholic, they are always an alcoholic, but does not define what is meant by the term alcoholic in this context. In , Bill W.

Volume 48 Issue 6 | Alcohol and Alcoholism | Oxford Academic

In professional and research contexts, the term "alcoholism" sometimes encompasses both alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, [99] and sometimes is considered equivalent to alcohol dependence. Talbot observes that alcoholism in the classical disease model follows a progressive course: if a person continues to drink, their condition will worsen.

This will lead to harmful consequences in their life, physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. He looks at this in four phases. The first two are considered "normal" drinking and the last two are viewed as "typical" alcoholic drinking. They describe the process in three stages:. The terms they recommend are similar but not identical. In part, this is to assist in the development of research protocols in which findings can be compared to one another.

According to the DSM-IV, an alcohol dependence diagnosis is: "maladaptive alcohol use with clinically significant impairment as manifested by at least three of the following within any one-year period: tolerance; withdrawal; taken in greater amounts or over longer time course than intended; desire or unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control use; great deal of time spent obtaining, using, or recovering from use; social, occupational, or recreational activities given up or reduced; continued use despite knowledge of physical or psychological sequelae.

In , it was defined by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence NCADD and ASAM as "a primary, chronic disease characterized by impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking. AA describes alcoholism as an illness that involves a physical allergy [] : 28 where "allergy" has a different meaning than that used in modern medicine.

William D. Silkworth M. Morton Jellinek is considered the foundation of the modern disease theory of alcoholism. The modern medical definition of alcoholism has been revised numerous times since then. The American Medical Association uses the word alcoholism to refer to a particular chronic primary disease.

Attitudes and social stereotypes can create barriers to the detection and treatment of alcohol abuse. This is more of a barrier for women than men. Fear of stigmatization may lead women to deny that they are suffering from a medical condition, to hide their drinking, and to drink alone. This pattern, in turn, leads family, physicians, and others to be less likely to suspect that a woman they know is an alcoholic.

This pattern, in turn, leads family, physicians, and others to be more likely to suspect that a man they know is an alcoholic. Screening is recommended among those over the age of These tools are mostly self-reports in questionnaire form. Another common theme is a score or tally that sums up the general severity of alcohol use. The CAGE questionnaire , named for its four questions, is one such example that may be used to screen patients quickly in a doctor's office.

Other tests are sometimes used for the detection of alcohol dependence, such as the Alcohol Dependence Data Questionnaire , which is a more sensitive diagnostic test than the CAGE questionnaire.


It helps distinguish a diagnosis of alcohol dependence from one of heavy alcohol use. Like the CAGE questionnaire, it uses a simple set of questions — a high score earning a deeper investigation. There are reliable tests for the actual use of alcohol, one common test being that of blood alcohol content BAC.

With regard to alcoholism, BAC is useful to judge alcohol tolerance , which in turn is a sign of alcoholism.

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However, none of these blood tests for biological markers is as sensitive as screening questionnaires. The World Health Organization , the European Union and other regional bodies, national governments and parliaments have formed alcohol policies in order to reduce the harm of alcoholism. Increasing the age at which licit drugs of abuse such as alcohol can be purchased, the banning or restricting advertising of alcohol has been recommended as additional ways of reducing the harm of alcohol dependence and abuse.

Credible, evidence based educational campaigns in the mass media about the consequences of alcohol abuse have been recommended. Guidelines for parents to prevent alcohol abuse amongst adolescents, and for helping young people with mental health problems have also been suggested. Treatments are varied because there are multiple perspectives of alcoholism. Those who approach alcoholism as a medical condition or disease recommend differing treatments from, for instance, those who approach the condition as one of social choice. Since alcoholism involves multiple factors which encourage a person to continue drinking, they must all be addressed to successfully prevent a relapse.

An example of this kind of treatment is detoxification followed by a combination of supportive therapy, attendance at self-help groups, and ongoing development of coping mechanisms. The treatment community for alcoholism typically supports an abstinence-based zero tolerance approach; however, some prefer a harm-reduction approach. Alcohol detoxification or 'detox' for alcoholics is an abrupt stop of alcohol drinking coupled with the substitution of drugs, such as benzodiazepines , that have similar effects to prevent alcohol withdrawal.

Individuals who are only at risk of mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms can be detoxified as outpatients. Individuals at risk of a severe withdrawal syndrome as well as those who have significant or acute comorbid conditions are generally treated as inpatients. Detoxification does not actually treat alcoholism, and it is necessary to follow up detoxification with an appropriate treatment program for alcohol dependence or abuse to reduce the risk of relapse.

Various forms of group therapy or psychotherapy can be used to deal with underlying psychological issues that are related to alcohol addiction, as well as provide relapse prevention skills. The mutual-help group-counseling approach is one of the most common ways of helping alcoholics maintain sobriety. Rationing and moderation programs such as Moderation Management and DrinkWise do not mandate complete abstinence. While most alcoholics are unable to limit their drinking in this way, some return to moderate drinking.

Recent Developments in Alcoholism: Volume 6 Recent Developments in Alcoholism: Volume 6
Recent Developments in Alcoholism: Volume 6 Recent Developments in Alcoholism: Volume 6
Recent Developments in Alcoholism: Volume 6 Recent Developments in Alcoholism: Volume 6
Recent Developments in Alcoholism: Volume 6 Recent Developments in Alcoholism: Volume 6
Recent Developments in Alcoholism: Volume 6 Recent Developments in Alcoholism: Volume 6
Recent Developments in Alcoholism: Volume 6 Recent Developments in Alcoholism: Volume 6

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