What Causes Spouses to Resemble One Another In Their Risk for Alcohol Use Disorder?


A population-based registry study found that the increase in risk for a first onset of alcohol use disorder in a married individual after the onset of alcohol use disorder onset in his or her spouse was large and rapid. When an individual was married in either order to serial partners with vs. without alcohol use disorder, the risk for alcohol use disorder was substantially increased when the partner had an alcohol use disorder registration and decreased when the partner did not have an alcohol use disorder registration. What does this mean? A married individual’s risk for alcohol use disorder is likely directly and causally affected by the presence of alcohol use disorder in his or her spouse. Although spouses strongly resemble one another in their risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the causes of this association remain unclear. The study seems to conclude that the increase in risk for AUD registration...

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APA Releases New Practice Guideline on AUD Pharmacotherapy


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recently released a new practice guideline for the pharmacological treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD). Despite the high prevalence of AUD and its significant public health consequences, patients with this disorder remain undertreated. The guideline aims to increase physician and public knowledge on the effectiveness and risks of the five medications that may be used for the treatment of AUD: acamprosate, disulfiram, gabapentin, naltrexone, and topiramate. Of these five, naltrexone and acamprosate have the best available evidence related to their benefits, and both have minimal side effects. As such, they should be considered the preferred pharmacological options for patients with moderate to severe AUD who want to reduce drinking or achieve abstinence. However, acamprosate should be avoided in patients with significant renal impairment, and naltrexone should be avoided in patients with acute hepatitis or liver failure, or in patients currently taking opioids or who may be...

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NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator Helps Find Quality Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder


Described as a “game-changer” by individuals in the alcohol treatment community! An important new online resource is now available to help people recognize and find high quality treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), which affects more than 15 million adults in the United States. The NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator helps individuals and their loved ones negotiate the often-complicated process of choosing treatment for alcohol misuse by telling them what they need to know, and what they need to do, to recognize and choose quality care. The landmark Navigator website is comprehensive, yet easy-to-use -- guiding users through a step-by-step process to find highly-qualified treatment professionals. It helps create informed consumers by describing AUD and the various treatment options available, explaining the importance of “evidence-based” practices, providing tips on how to recognize five signs of quality care, and recommending specific steps to find quality treatment, including 10 questions to ask potential providers....

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Study Finds Large Increase in Alcohol Use, High-Risk Drinking and Alcohol Use Disorders


The percentage of Americans who use alcohol, engage in high-risk drinking or have an alcohol use disorder has risen substantially, a new study finds. The study, which included face-to-face interviews with 40,000 Americans, found alcohol use disorders increased 49 percent between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013, according to CNN. Alcohol use has increased most among women, older adults, racial/ethnic minorities and the socioeconomically disadvantaged, the researchers report in JAMA Psychiatry. Alcohol use disorders rose 106.7 percent among individuals age 65 and older during the study period. The researchers conclude that almost 30 million Americans are struggling with an alcohol use disorder.

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Can Alcoholism Contribute to Marriage Woes?

Can Alcoholism Contribute to Marriage Woes?

According to a new research report, getting a divorce increases the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder (AUD) by more than sevenfold for women and almost sixfold for men, new research shows. The same research project provided results that also predicted that the risk for AUD is elevated for an identical twin getting divorced, but to a much lesser degree, which further suggests that marriage itself – and not genetic or environmental traits - might protect against AUD. According to an article in Medscape Medical News – Psychiatry, these results are designed to remind clinicians of the importance of social and psychological factors for alcoholism. The study was published online January 20 in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Research also shows that divorced and single people typically drink more than those who are married, but the reason for this is unclear. It also indicated that the association between divorce and...

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