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Alcoholism is one of the leading causes of liver disease worldwide and the goal for these individuals is abstinence. There are many treatment modalities that can be employed for alcoholism including a 12-step program such as AA where they can find the support of people who have the same goal, brief interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy to address any misguided thinking, motivational enhancement therapy, and one of the many FDA approved medications that can be given to reduce craving of alcohol (Leggio & Lee, 2017).
One of the most important part of treating an individual with alcohol use disorder is addressing withdrawal symptoms as these can be deadly. Symptoms of withdrawal include nausea, vomiting, tremors, anxiety, insomnia, and in severe cases, delirium and seizures. Withdrawals protocols typically include the use of benzodiazepine to reduce symptoms of withdrawal, and prevent seizures. There are three drugs currently that are approved for the treatment of alcohol use disorder, these include, disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone. While these medications can be helpful in reducing cravings and deter drinking, psychiatric treatment to address underlying issues is necessary for there to be any meaningful recovery (Witkiewitz, Litten, & Leggio, 2019).
Leggio, L., & Lee, M. R. (2017). Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder in Patients with Alcoholic Liver Disease. The American Journal of Medicine, 130(2), 124–134. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2016.10.004
Witkiewitz, K., Litten, R. Z., & Leggio, L. (2019). Advances in the science and treatment of alcohol use disorder. Science Advances, 5(9). https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aax4043
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