Abuse of Alcohol Overview
Another name for Abuse of Alcohol is Alcoholism.
What is alcoholism?
A person with alcoholism is addicted to alcohol. In the alcoholic patient, the addiction interferes with the person's relationships, family life, and occupation. Over time, the toxic effects of alcohol damage the brain, heart, liver, and nerves. Alcohol can cause scarring and irreversible damage to the liver, called alcoholic cirrhosis.
What are the symptoms of alcoholism?
Symptoms of alcoholism include alcohol craving, anxiety, inability to stop drinking, blackouts, loss of memory, anger, violence, insomnia, and paranoid behavior.
How does the doctor treat alcoholism?
Treatment for alcoholism requires the strict avoidance of alcohol, medications that suppress alcohol craving, alcoholism support groups, and psychological counseling.
Continue to Abuse of Alcohol Incidence
- American Medical Association: Alcoholism in the elderly. Council on Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association. JAMA 1996 Mar 13; 275(10): 797-801. 
- O'Connor PG, Schottenfeld RS: Patients with alcohol problems. N Engl J Med 1998 Feb 26; 338(9): 592-602. 
- Piccinelli M, Tessari E, et al: Efficacy of the alcohol use disorders identification test as a screening tool for hazardous alcohol intake and related disorders in primary care: a validity study. BMJ 1997 Feb 8; 314(7078): 420-4. 
- Room R, Babor T, Rehm J: Alcohol and public health. Lancet 2005 Feb 5; 365(9458): 519-30. 
- Saitz R: Clinical practice. Unhealthy alcohol use. N Engl J Med 2005 Feb 10; 352(6): 596-607. 
- Scott LJ, Figgitt DP, Keam SJ, Waugh J. Acamprosate: a review of its use in the maintenance of abstinence in patients with alcohol dependence. CNS Drugs. 2005;19(5):445-64. 
- Wilk AI, Jensen NM, Havighurst TC: Meta-analysis of randomized control trials addressing brief interventions in heavy alcohol drinkers. J Gen Intern Med 1997 May; 12(5): 274-83. 
- Willner IR, Reuben A. Alcohol and the liver. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2005 May;21(3):323-30.