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Alcohol

  • Matthew E. Sloan
  • Robert B. Werner
  • Stephanie Yarnell-MacGrory
  • Ismene PetrakisEmail author
Chapter
  • 39 Downloads

Abstract

Alcohol consumption remains a leading cause of death and disability, with recent evidence suggesting that the prevalence of alcohol use and abuse is rising. This chapter reviews the diagnosis and treatment of alcohol intoxication, withdrawal, and alcohol use disorder. Alcohol primarily exerts its intoxicating effects by acting at GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses, whereas withdrawal symptoms are thought to be caused by altered activity at these synapses due to sudden reductions in alcohol consumption Clinical management of both intoxication and withdrawal depends on drinking history, recent consumption, and presenting symptoms. In heavy drinkers, alcohol use disorder can be diagnosed when an individual meets two of eleven diagnostic criteria that include signs of physiologic dependence (tolerance and withdrawal), loss of control over drinking, and continued consumption despite harm. This condition can be treated with psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, or a combination of both modalities. Abstinence can then be monitored using a range of direct and indirect laboratory tests.

Keywords

Alcohol use disorder Alcoholism Alcoholic Intoxication Substance Withdrawal Syndrome Alcohol Dehydrogenase Acamprosate Naltrexone Disulfiram 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew E. Sloan
    • 1
  • Robert B. Werner
    • 1
  • Stephanie Yarnell-MacGrory
    • 1
  • Ismene Petrakis
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Yale University School of Medicine, Department of PsychiatryNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.VA Connecticut Healthcare System #116-AWest HavenUSA

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