Alcohol Abuse and Dependence

Mar 15, 2004 Issue
Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome [Article]

The spectrum of alcohol withdrawal symptoms ranges from such minor symptoms as insomnia and tremulousness to severe complications such as withdrawal seizures and delirium tremens. Although the history and physical examination usually are sufficient to diagnose alcohol withdrawal syndrome, other cond...

Apr 1, 2003 Issue
Recognition of Alcohol and Substance Abuse [Article]

Ten percent of the population abuses drugs or alcohol, and 20 percent of patients seen by family physicians have substance-abuse problems, excluding tobacco use. These patients can be identified by relying on regular screening or a high index of suspicion based on "red flags" that can be noted in va...

Apr 1, 2002 Issue
How Can I Help My Patient Stop Drinking? [Curbside Consultation]

There is no harder task than trying to help a patient who denies having a problem. Self-delusion and denial are key elements of alcoholism. Alcoholics may delude themselves into thinking that they are not drinking too much or that they can control their drinking.

Feb 1, 2002 Issue
Problem Drinking and Alcoholism: Diagnosis and Treatment [Article]

Alcoholism is one of the most common psychiatric disorders with a prevalence of 8 to 14 percent. This heritable disease is frequently accompanied by other substance abuse disorders (particularly nicotine), anxiety and mood disorders, and antisocial personality disorder. Although associated with cons...

May 1, 2000 Issue
An Approach to Drug Abuse, Intoxication and Withdrawal [Article]

The symptomatic effects of drug abuse are a result of alterations in the functioning of the following neurotransmitters or their receptors: acetylcholine, dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid, norepinephrine, opioids and serotonin. Anticholinergic drugs antagonize acetylcholine receptors. Dissociative ...

Mar 15, 2000 Issue
Alcoholism in the Elderly [Article]

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are common but underrecognized problems among older adults. One third of older alcoholic persons develop a problem with alcohol in later life, while the other two thirds grow older with the medical and psychosocial sequelae of early-onset alcoholism. The common definitio...

Sep 15, 1999 Issue
Outpatient Detoxification of the Addicted or Alcoholic Patient [Article]

Outpatient detoxification of patients with alcohol or other drug addiction is being increasingly undertaken. This type of management is appropriate for patients in stage I or stage II of withdrawal who have no significant comorbid conditions and have a support person willing to monitor their progres...

Jan 15, 1999 Issue
Alcohol-Related Problems: Recognition and Intervention [Article]

Early identification of alcohol-related problems is important because these problems are prevalent, pose serious health risks to patients and their families, and are amenable to intervention. Physicians may be able to help patients change their drinking behaviors. The most effective tool for screeni...

Jul 01, 1998 Issue
Management of Withdrawal Syndromes and Relapse Prevention in Drug and Alcohol Abuse [Article]

The primary care physician is in a good position to diagnose, manage and intervene with patients who are undergoing the process of treatment and recovery from alcohol and drug disorders. Medications such as benzodiazepines are effective in the treatment of withdrawal syndromes, and naltrexone and di...

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