Alcohol dependence

Common Name(s)

Alcohol dependence, Alcoholism, Alcohol addiction

Alcoholism means a person is physically or mentally dependent on alcohol. It is a serious medical condition. People with alcoholism often struggle to live normal lives. They may try to hide their problem. Yet drinking too much alcohol can lead to poor life choices such as drinking and driving. Alcohol can cause serious health consequences. Symptoms of alcoholism may include not being able to stop drinking or having a hard time controlling how much you drink, needing more alcohol to feel good, spending a lot of time drinking and recovering from drinking, giving up other activities so you can drink, and withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking or wait too long between drinks. Withdrawal symptoms may include feeling sick to your stomach, sweating, shakiness and anxiety. Alcoholism may interfere with your relationships and your ability to perform your job.

Alcoholism may be caused by a variety of factors. Genetic, psychological, social and environmental factors may all be part of the cause. Risk factors include steady drinking over time or binge drinking on a regular basis, starting to drink alcohol at a young age, a family history of alcoholism, and suffering from depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety. Alcoholism increases your risk for developing liver damage (cirrhosis), digestive problems, heart problems, sexual dysfunction, birth defects, bone loss, neurological complications and complications with diabetes. Alcoholism can weaken your immune system and increase your risk of certain cancers. Talk to your doctor if you or a family member may have an alcohol addiction. They may ask you a series of questions to determine if you are addicted to alcohol and to rule out other conditions. There are a variety of treatments to help you stop drinking including both inpatient and outpatient programs and private and group counseling. Your doctor can help you decide the best treatment plan for you.

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Alcohol dependence" for support, advocacy or research.

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National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD)

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) and its Affiliate Network is a voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting the Nation's #1 health problem -- alcoholism, drug addiction and the devastating consequences of alcohol and other drugs on individuals, families and communities.

Last Updated: 8 Jul 2015

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General Support Organizations

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Alcohol dependence" for support, advocacy or research.

Logo
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD)

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) and its Affiliate Network is a voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting the Nation's #1 health problem -- alcoholism, drug addiction and the devastating consequences of alcohol and other drugs on individuals, families and communities.

https://ncadd.org/

Last Updated: 8 Jul 2015

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General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Alcohol dependence" returned 692 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling regulates alcohol response behaviors in Caenorhabditis elegans and is associated with alcohol dependence in humans.
 

Author(s): Laura D Mathies, GinaMari G Blackwell, Makeda K Austin, Alexis C Edwards, Brien P Riley, Andrew G Davies, Jill C Bettinger

Journal: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.. 2015 Mar;112(10):3032-7.

 

Alcohol abuse is a widespread and serious problem. Understanding the factors that influence the likelihood of abuse is important for the development of effective therapies. There are both genetic and environmental influences on the development of abuse, but it has been difficult to ...

Last Updated: 11 Mar 2015

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Protective variant associated with alcohol dependence in a Mexican American cohort.
 

Author(s): Trina M Norden-Krichmar, Ian R Gizer, Kirk C Wilhelmsen, Nicholas J Schork, Cindy L Ehlers

Journal:

 

Mexican Americans, particularly those born in the United States, are at greater risk for alcohol associated morbidity and mortality. The present study sought to investigate whether specific genetic variants may be associated with alcohol use disorder phenotypes in a select population ...

Last Updated: 12 Feb 2015

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Suicidal behavior and haplotypes of the dopamine receptor gene (DRD2) and ANKK1 gene polymorphisms in patients with alcohol dependence--preliminary report.
 

Author(s): Andrzej Jasiewicz, Agnieszka Samochowiec, Jerzy Samochowiec, Iwona Małecka, Aleksandra Suchanecka, Anna Grzywacz

Journal:

 

Suicide is a significant public health issue and a major cause of death throughout the world. According to WHO it accounts for almost 2% of deaths worldwide. The etiology of suicidal behavior is complex but the results of many studies suggest that genetic determinants are of significant ...

Last Updated: 22 Nov 2014

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Alcohol dependence" returned 74 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Alcohol dependence: molecular and behavioral evidence.
 

Author(s): James R Trudell, Robert O Messing, Jody Mayfield, R Adron Harris

Journal: Trends Pharmacol. Sci.. 2014 Jul;35(7):317-23.

 

Alcohol dependence is a complex condition with clear genetic factors. Some of the leading candidate genes code for subunits of the inhibitory GABAA and glycine receptors. These and related ion channels are also targets for the acute actions of alcohol, and there is considerable progress ...

Last Updated: 30 Jun 2014

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Alcohol dependence and free-choice drinking in mice.
 

Author(s): William C Griffin

Journal: Alcohol. 2014 May;48(3):287-93.

 

Alcohol dependence continues to be an important health concern and animal models are critical to furthering our understanding of this complex disease. A hallmark feature of alcoholism is a significant increase in alcohol drinking over time. While several different animal models of ...

Last Updated: 9 May 2014

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Neuropsychology of perpetrators of domestic violence: the role of traumatic brain injury and alcohol abuse and/or dependence.
 

Author(s): Ángel Romero-Martínez, Luis Moya-Albiol

Journal: Rev Neurol. 2013 Dec;57(11):515-22.

 

Neuropsychological impairments of the executive functions, memory, attention, intelligence quotient, and empathy have been found in perpetrators of domestic violence (intimate partner violence). These impairments could be partially explained by alcohol abuse, dependence, or traumatic brain injuries.

Last Updated: 22 Nov 2013

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

There are currently no related results available in GeneReviews.

 
 
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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Oxytocin Treatment of Alcohol Dependence
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Alcohol Dependence; Alcohol Withdrawal

 

Last Updated: 21 Jul 2015

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Citicoline for Alcohol Dependence
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Alcohol Dependence

 

Last Updated: 24 Mar 2015

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Varenicline for Alcohol Dependence
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Alcohol Dependence

 

Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010

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