What are the indications for inpatient treatment of alcoholism?

Updated: Nov 27, 2018
  • Author: Warren Thompson, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

A number of serious problems are closely linked to alcohol intoxication. In fact, according to the NIAAA, intoxication is present in 30% of homicides, 22% of suicides, and 33% of car crashes. Any patient who presents an imminent safety risk to themselves or another person should be considered a candidate for hospitalization. This may require the assistance of family members or medical consultation with a psychiatrist.

Many physicians believe no effective treatment is available for alcoholism; therefore, these physicians do not refer their patients for treatment. However, more than 13 studies representing more than 4000 patients demonstrate that brief interventions make a difference. Most of the patients in these studies drank heavily but did not yet have a problem with alcohol.


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