Posts Tagged ‘Blogfinger reports reports on alcohol abuse’

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From the American Medical  Association:  (Note the links below)

The AP (6/4, Tanner) reports, “Alcohol problems affect almost 33 million adults and most have never sought treatment,” according to a study published online June 3 in JAMA Psychiatry. The research conducted by investigators at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism also suggests that “rates have increased in recent years.”

NIAAA director George Koob, PhD, “said it’s unclear why problem drinking has increased but that many people underestimate the dangers of excessive alcohol.” Koob also pointed out that effective behavioral treatments and medications exist to help people overcome problem drinking. He said, “There’s a lore that there’s only Alcoholics Anonymous out there and that’s not true.”

TIME (6/4, Sifferlin) reports that the study examined “the prevalence of drinking issues based on a new definition for alcohol use disorders in the” American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). That “definition classifies problem drinkers as those who have two of 11 symptoms including continuing to drink even if it harms relationships, drinking harming performance at work of school, or inability to quit,” with problem severity being “classified by the number of symptoms a person has.”

Newsweek (6/4, Main) reports that “researchers surveyed more than 36,000 Americans and asked them about their drinking habits,” also finding that “binge drinking is becoming more common and intense.” Koob said, “There has been this cultural shift – people are drinking more when they drink.”

Yahoo! News (6/4, Chan) quotes Koob, who said, “These findings underscore that alcohol problems are deeply entrenched and significantly under-treated in our society.”

The NPR (6/4, Hurt, Shute) “Shots” blog points out that “Native Americans face the greatest risk overall” for problem drinking, “and men are still drinking more than women, with 36 percent of men reporting alcohol use disorder at some point in their lives, compared to 22.7 percent of women.” Among young people, “drinking problems were worst…with 26.7 percent of young adults under 30 saying they’d had trouble in the past year, compared to 16 percent of 30- to 44-year-olds.”

Blogfinger Medical C0mmentary:    Paul Goldfinger MD, FACC, Editor @ Blogfinger.net

The 5th edition of the DSM of the American Psychiatric Association (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) was released in 2013.  This is the “bible” for mental health workers to use for diagnostic nomenclature.  The alcohol data was gathered in 2012 and 2013 by the National Institutes of Health, looking at adults 18 and older.   The 18-29 year old group is particularly affected, and not only do many have drinking problems, but the amount of drinking has been going  up.    DSM-5_Cover

The section on “alcohol use disorders:” —AUD is very important because it recognizes that 14% of adults in the US currently have a drinking problem  (33 million) and that 30% of the population has had an AUD at some time in their lives. They now recognize that most people with AUD have not sought treatment and that AA is not the only treatment option.   There are medications and there are behavioral therapy methods.

The devastation caused by AUD is huge:  It is disabling to individuals, and its effects harm families, work places, and, overall, the national interest.  And don’t forget the physical issues:   acute alcohol intoxication during binge drinking can cause death; even mild impairment (with alcohol level below illegal) can  cause auto accidents; and long term use can cause cancer, heart disease, brain damage, and liver disease.

A big concern is that many won’t admit that they have a problem, and those around them may not recognize a problem either.  The new criteria help define the diagnosis and the degrees of involvement—spelled out in the handbook.

You can buy a copy of the DSM-5 Handbook on line  (eg Amazon.com)

DANISH NATIONAL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA.   Drinking songs often glamorize alcohol intake—-eg all those Irish drinking songs. Here is  Verdi’s “Drinking Song—Libiamo” from the film The Quartet   (and here is ourBF  2013 movie review:  Quartet movie  )


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