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Homogenizing alcoholism treatment across Europe

  • F. Poldrugo
Conference paper

Summary

Alcohol treatment ideologies and goals vary in different countries of Europe and have been influenced by cultures and drinking patterns. From the traditional high-consumption wine countries of Southern Europe to the spirit drinking North European countries. However, due to the natural course of alcoholism, long-term alcohol dependent patients share common features independent from initial drinking patterns and cultural influences. This makes populations’ characteristics and the result of treatment comparable within Europe, even though treatment approaches and selection of patients vary in different countries. Clinical trials using common measures for outcome of intervention have been performed in the last ten years in several countries of Europe. Outcome has been measured not only with the traditional definition of abstinence (or other drinking end-points), but also in terms of the subjective impact of disease and treatments on patients’ lives. The discovery that different types of supportive therapies (alone or in combination with medications) do have positive influences on the progress of the alcoholic disease, improving the patients’ quality of life (QoL) in all countries of Europe, shed a light of optimism on what, until recently, was considered an untreatable disease.

Summary — From the age when alcohol treatment outcomes were incorrectly measured and barely comparable because of different populations (especially from the USA), scarce description of intervention and goals of treatment, a great progress has been reached, in recent years, with new methodologies applied in Europe in clinical trials dealing with populations of alcoholics. Therapies do work in improving their well-being status and life expectancy in all countries of Europe.

Keywords

Alcohol Dependence Alcohol Treatment Drinking Pattern Alcoholic Anonymous Alcoholism Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Poldrugo
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mental HealthUniversity of TriesteItaly
  2. 2.Office for Research and Innovative Projects on Alcohol, other Addictions and Mental Health, Departments of Mental Health and AddictionsUniversity of Triede/School of Medicine and The Community Health AgencyTriesteItaly

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