Thursday, February 13, 2014

Gaps in Clinical Prevention and Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorders

Dr W's article, "Gaps in Clinical Prevention and Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorders" was published this month online in the journal Alcohol Research: Current Reviews. Here's the abstract:


Heavy drinking causes significant morbidity, premature mortality, and other social and economic burdens on society, prompting numerous prevention and treatment efforts to avoid or ameliorate the prevalence of heavy drinking and its consequences. However, the impact on public health of current selective (i.e., clinical) prevention and treatment strategies is unclear. Screening and brief counseling for at-risk drinkers in ambulatory primary care has the strongest evidence for efficacy, and some evidence indicates this approach is cost-effective and reduces excess morbidity and dysfunction. Widespread implementation of screening and brief counseling of nondependent heavy drinkers outside of the medical context has the potential to have a large public health impact. For people with functional dependence, no appropriate treatment and prevention approaches currently exist, although such strategies might be able to prevent or reduce the morbidity and other harmful consequences associated with the condition before its eventual natural resolution. For people with alcohol use disorders, particularly severe and recurrent dependence, treatment studies have shown improvement in the short term. However, there is no compelling evidence that treatment of alcohol use disorders has resulted in reductions in overall disease burden. More research is needed on ways to address functional alcohol dependence as well as severe and recurrent alcohol dependence.

And check out the full piece here:

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