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Br J Psychiatry. 1984 Jan;144:53-7.

Alcohol dependence and phobic anxiety states. I. A prevalence study.


Sixty alcoholics (40 males) were assessed for agoraphobia and social phobia, and over half the sample were rated as having either or both these disorders when last drinking. Twenty one subjects had mild phobias and eleven had severe phobias. The more severely phobic males were also found to be the most alcohol dependent and those with no phobias were least alcohol dependent but this effect was not found among the females. All phobic alcoholics reported that alcohol had helped them to cope in feared situations, and almost all had deliberately used it for this purpose. A small sample of out-patients referred for phobias alone were also asked about their use of alcohol. The majority had found it helpful in coping with fears, although more men than women had deliberately used it for this purpose.

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