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Alcohol 

Alcohol
Chapter:
Alcohol
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198714750.003.0009
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date: 26 May 2019

Chapter 9 of Addiction Medicine covers the spectrum of alcohol use disorders and their management. It describes the epidemiology and natural history of alcohol use, the pharmacology and neurobiology of alcohol, and the mechanisms through which alcohol consumption causes harm. There is a comprehensive account of alcohol-related disorders. The full spectrum of clinical responses to unhealthy alcohol use is covered, from screening and brief intervention, and clinical assessment, through to comprehensive management of the alcohol-dependent drinker. The chapter includes biochemical tests and other investigations to assess alcohol use and complications of use. It addresses the range of treatment approaches for alcohol dependence, including pharmacotherapies, individual therapy, and group approaches, and treatment of alcohol withdrawal and of common complications of alcohol use. It also includes harm reduction approaches for drinkers who are not yet willing or able to change their level of consumption, and an overview of strategies to prevent alcohol problems at a community level.

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