Alcoholism. Earlier diagnosis and definition of the problem

D. E. Girard, B. E. Carlton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There are important measurements of alcoholism that are poorly understood by physicians. Professional attitudes toward alcoholic patients are often counterproductive. Americans spend about $30 billion on alcohol a year and most adults drink alcohol. Even though traditional criteria allow for recognition of the disease, diagnosis is often made late in the natural course, when intervention fails. Alcoholism is a major health problem and accounts for 10 percent of total health care costs. Still, this country's 10 million adult alcoholics come from a pool of heavy drinkers with well defined demographic characteristics. These social, cultural and familial traits, along with subtle signs of addiction, allow for earlier diagnosis. Although these factors alone do not establish a diagnosis of alcoholism, they should alert a physician that significant disease may be imminent. Focus must be directed to these aspects of alcoholism if containment of the problem is expected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalWestern Journal of Medicine
Volume129
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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