Counselling Older People with Alcohol Problems

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A follow-up study, using the same subjects that were judged to be in remission in —, examined the rates of return to problem drinking in — The study found abstinence from alcohol was the most stable form of remission for recovering alcoholics. In the United States there are four approved medications for alcoholism: acamprosate, two methods of using naltrexone and disulfiram.

Evidence does not support the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs , tricyclic antidepressants TCAs , antipsychotics , or gabapentin. Alcoholics may also require treatment for other psychotropic drug addictions and drug dependences. These drugs are, like alcohol, depressants.

Benzodiazepines may be used legally, if they are prescribed by doctors for anxiety problems or other mood disorders, or they may be purchased as illegal drugs. Benzodiazepine use increases cravings for alcohol and the volume of alcohol consumed by problem drinkers. Dependence on other sedative-hypnotics such as zolpidem and zopiclone as well as opiates and illegal drugs is common in alcoholics.

Alcohol itself is a sedative-hypnotic and is cross-tolerant with other sedative-hypnotics such as barbiturates , benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazepines. Dependence upon and withdrawal from sedative-hypnotics can be medically severe and, as with alcohol withdrawal, there is a risk of psychosis or seizures if not properly managed. The World Health Organization estimates that as of there are million people with alcoholism worldwide 4.

Within the medical and scientific communities, there is a broad consensus regarding alcoholism as a disease state. For example, the American Medical Association considers alcohol a drug and states that "drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite often devastating consequences. It results from a complex interplay of biological vulnerability, environmental exposure, and developmental factors e. Under the DSM 's new definition of alcoholics, that means about 37 percent of college students may meet the criteria.

Alcoholism often reduces a person's life expectancy by around ten years. Approximately 3—15 percent of alcoholics commit suicide, [] and research has found that over 50 percent of all suicides are associated with alcohol or drug dependence. This is believed to be due to alcohol causing physiological distortion of brain chemistry, as well as social isolation. Suicide is also very common in adolescent alcohol abusers, with 25 percent of suicides in adolescents being related to alcohol abuse.

Historically the name " dipsomania " was coined by German physician C. Hufeland in before it was superseded by "alcoholism". Biblical, Egyptian and Babylonian sources record the history of abuse and dependence on alcohol. In some ancient cultures alcohol was worshiped and in others, its abuse was condemned. Excessive alcohol misuse and drunkenness were recognized as causing social problems even thousands of years ago.

However, the defining of habitual drunkenness as it was then known as and its adverse consequences were not well established medically until the 18th century. In a Greek monk named Agapios was the first to document that chronic alcohol misuse was associated with toxicity to the nervous system and body which resulted in a range of medical disorders such as seizures, paralysis, and internal bleeding. In the effects of alcohol abuse and chronic drunkenness boosted membership of the temperance movement and led to the prohibition of alcohol in the United States , a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages that remained in place until ; this policy resulted in the decline of death rates from cirrhosis and alcoholism.

The various health problems associated with long-term alcohol consumption are generally perceived as detrimental to society, for example, money due to lost labor-hours, medical costs due to injuries due to drunkenness and organ damage from long-term use, and secondary treatment costs, such as the costs of rehabilitation facilities and detoxification centers. Alcohol use is a major contributing factor for head injuries , motor vehicle accidents due to drunk driving , domestic violence , and assaults.

Beyond the financial costs that alcohol consumption imposes, there are also significant social costs to both the alcoholic and their family and friends.

Counselling Older People with Alcohol Problems

Stereotypes of alcoholics are often found in fiction and popular culture. The " town drunk " is a stock character in Western popular culture.

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Stereotypes of drunkenness may be based on racism or xenophobia , as in the fictional depiction of the Irish as heavy drinkers. In Asian countries that have a high gross domestic product, there is heightened drinking compared to other Asian countries, but it is nowhere near as high as it is in other countries like the United States. It is also inversely seen, with countries that have very low gross domestic product showing high alcohol consumption.

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They also believe alcohol is necessary at any social event as it helps conversations start. Caucasians have a much lower abstinence rate Also, the more acculturation there is between cultures, the more influenced the culture is to adopt Caucasians drinking practices. Topiramate , a derivative of the naturally occurring sugar monosaccharide D-fructose, has been found effective in helping alcoholics quit or cut back on the amount they drink. Evidence suggests that topiramate antagonizes excitatory glutamate receptors, inhibits dopamine release, and enhances inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid function.

A review of the effectiveness of topiramate concluded that the results of published trials are promising, however, as of , data was insufficient to support using topiramate in conjunction with brief weekly compliance counseling as a first-line agent for alcohol dependence. Topiramate effectively reduces craving and alcohol withdrawal severity as well as improving quality-of-life-ratings. Ondansetron , a 5HT3 antagonist, appears to have promise as a treatment.

According to a retrospective analysis of six studies from the s and s LSD-assisted psychotherapy has potential as a treatment for alcoholism.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Broad term for problems with alcohol. For alcoholic beverages, see alcoholic drink. For the song by Starsailor, see Alcoholic song. Play media. Main article: Short-term effects of alcohol. See also: Long-term effects of alcohol consumption. See also: Drug-related crime. Main article: Alcohol withdrawal syndrome. See also: Kindling sedative-hypnotic withdrawal.

See also: Addiction medicine. Further information: Alcohol education. Main article: Alcohol detoxification. November Archived from the original on 18 May Retrieved 9 May Archived from the original on 4 April Archived from the original on 3 June Psychological Medicine.

Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. Am Fam Physician. Minerva Medica. World Health Organization.

Archived PDF from the original on 13 April Archived from the original on 10 May Retrieved 10 May Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. Archived from the original on 20 July Archived from the original on 18 March Retrieved 28 February The British Journal of Nutrition.

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Archived from the original on 5 February Alcohol and Alcoholism. Hospital Medicine. Drug abuse prevention: a school and community partnership. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett. The Volume Library. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Leiken, Jerrold B. MD; Lipsky, Martin S. MD eds. Complete Medical Encyclopedia First ed.

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