Alcohol Use Disorders
Alcohol use disorders consist of disorders characterised by compulsive heavy alcohol use and loss of control over alcohol intake. Alcohol use disorders are some of the most prevalent mental disorders globally, especially in high-income and upper-middle-income countries; and are associated with high mortality and burden of disease, mainly due to medical consequences, such as liver cirrhosis or injury.
Despite their high prevalence, alcohol use disorders are undertreated partly because of the high stigma associated with them, but also because of insufficient systematic screening in primary health care, although effective and cost-effective psychosocial and pharmacological interventions do exist.
Primary health care should be responsible for most treatment, with routine screening for alcohol use, and the provision of a staggered treatment response, from brief advice to pharmacological treatment. Clinical interventions for these disorders should be embedded in a supportive environment, which can be bolstered by the creation of alcohol control policies aimed at reducing the overall level of consumption.
Clinical interventions for alcohol use disorders need to start at the primary care level, if average consumption exceeds more than two drinks a day,” said Dr. Jürgen Rehm, Senior Author of the paper and Senior Scientist at Institute for Mental Health and Policy Research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), as per MedicalXpress.
General practitioners should regularly be asking their patients about alcohol intake, and initiate interventions if required.”