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Today in Health & Wellness

Alcohol Dependence Syndrome

Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Doctors to Consult

Common Name: Alcoholism, Alkoholismo (Fil.)

Alcoholism is a dependence on alcoholic beverages where the person experiences withdrawal symptoms when the levels in which they take in the alcoholic substances are reduced far below the level they normally take or when alcohol is removed completely. People who have alcohol dependence syndrome persist on excessively drinking alcohol despite the fact that it causes harm to their bodies.


A person is diagnosed as being alcohol dependent if they exhibit at least three of the following symptoms in a span of 12-months:

  • Tolerance for alcohol
  • Withdrawal from the absence of alcohol
  • Salience of drinking
  • Craving
  • Impaired control
  • Continued use despite harm

Other indicators of alcohol dependence include:

  • Loss of interest in food
  • Money and work problems due to drinking
  • Loss of personal hygiene
  • Blackouts
  • Drunk driving
  • Mood and personality changes
  • Abdominal pain and diarrhea
Risk Factors
  • Age, young people over elderly
  • Gender, women are more at risk than men
  • Family history
  • Stress, anxiety, depression due to various socioeconomic issues, workplace conflicts, parents are also heavy drinkers
  • Environment
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • Disulfiram
  • Naltrexone
  • Acamprosate
  • Topiramate
  • Baclofen
Treatment and Management

Management and treatment of alcohol dependence should be tailored for each individual but usually, involves any of the following:

  • Support from groups motivated to abstaining from alcohol such as Alcoholic Anonymous
  • Early identification and intervention of people at risk of becoming alcohol dependent
  • Psychological therapy
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