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Alcohol-Use Disorders: Diagnosis, Assessment and Management of Harmful Drinking and Alcohol Dependence

Alcohol-Use Disorders: Diagnosis, Assessment and Management of Harmful Drinking and Alcohol Dependence

NICE Clinical Guidelines - National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK)

Version: 2011

PHARMACOLOGICAL INTERVENTIONS

Pharmacological interventions can be involved in different stages of treating alcohol misuse and its consequences. Medication is recognised as an adjunct to psychosocial treatment to provide an optimum treatment package to improve physical and mental health (Casswell & Thamarangsi, 2009). Prescribed medications are not a stand-alone treatment option and are only recommended as part of care-planned treatment (Berglund, 2005; Department of Health, 2006a; Raistrick et al., 2006; Woody, 2003). This chapter aims to detail the utility and efficacy of pharmacological interventions in the treatment of alcohol misuse. It focuses on the use of pharmacological interventions in the promotion of abstinence and the reduction in alcohol consumption, and the treatment of comorbid disorders. For the use of pharmacological interventions in a planned withdrawal programme see Chapter 5 and for the use of pharmacological interventions in an unplanned withdrawal programme see the NICE guideline on the management of alcohol-related physical complications (NICE, 2010b).

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