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100 Questions & Answers About Alcoholism - Charles Herrick

Year 2007


IntroductionAcknowledgmentsPART I. The Basics1. What is alcohol?2. Is alcohol a drug?3. When and how was alcohol discovered?4. Why do humans use alcohol?EvolutionHealth BenefitsPsychotropic Effects5. How do chemicals work in the brain?Neurons and Neurotransmitters6. How does alcohol affect the brain?7. What is addiction?8. How is alcoholism a disease?9. What makes alcohol addictive?Learning TheoryClassical ConditioningOperant ConditioningModeling10. What aspects of alcoholism are voluntary or involuntary?11. Is alcoholism a disease or just a bad habit?12. What causes the disease of alcoholism?PART II. Diagnosis13. What is the DSM-IV?14. What is alcohol dependency?15. What is alcohol abuse?16. How do you know whether you are an alcoholic?17. What are the screening tools available for alcoholism, and are they reliable?18. What is the difference between type I and type II alcoholics?19. Are there any biological tests that aid in the diagnosis of alcoholism?PART 3. Risk, Prevention, and Epidemiology20. What is the prevalence of alcohol use and alcoholism?21. What is the risk of inheriting alcoholism?Genetic and Environmental FactorsInheritanceNature Versus NurtureTwin and Adoption Studies22. What other risk factors are associated with alcoholism?23. Are certain religious groups at greater risk for alcoholism?24. How do African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian Americans compare with respect to risk of developing alcoholism? African AmericansHispanicsNative AmericansAsian Americans25. What is the morbidity and mortality associated with alcoholism?26. What is the link between alcoholism and violence?27. Is there a gateway drug that can lead to alcoholism?28. I read somewhere that drinking alcohol was good for you. Is that true?29. What is a safe level of alcohol consumption?30. What is a dry drunk?31. My mother has been drinking wine daily since my father died. Could she be an alcoholic, or does she need treatment for depression?32. Am I at risk for other kinds of addictions if I have been addicted to alcohol?33. What are some of the triggers to relapse?PART IV. Treatment34. Who is qualified to diagnose and treat alcoholism?Social WorkersPsychologistsThe Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialists or the Nurse PractitionersPsychiatrists 35. What is AA, and how does it work?36. What is A SAM, and what are the criteria for placement in a particular program?37. What is rehabilitation, and how is it different from AA?38. What are the different kinds of outpatient and inpatient rehabilitations?39. What is the difference between a faith-based program and others?40. Does it matter how long I stay in an inpatient program? How successful are they?41. How successful are the various treatment options?42. How is treatment different for someone with a dual diagnosis?43. All of the programs I attend are group based. I really feel I need some individual treatment. What should I do?44. I understand that some programs teach alcoholics to drink moderately. How successful are those programs?45. Is the treatment approach for adolescents different than adults?Alcohol Treatment for Adolescents46. What exactly is an "intervention"?47. What different kinds of medications are available for alcoholism?48. What is Antabuse, and how does it work?49. I understand that Re Via is an opiate. I have never been addicted to opiates. Why would that be prescribed, and will I become addicted?50. I heard of a new injectable form of medication for alcoholism. What is it, and what are its advantages?51. How is acamprosate different from other medications?52. What other medications are prescribed for alcoholism?OndansetronTopiramate53. I have been prescribed a medication off-label. Does that mean that it is experimental?54. What is the Prometa® treatment protocol for alcoholism?55. What is detoxification, and how do I know whether I need it?56. What medications are used for detoxification?Alcohol Withdrawal SyndromeDifferences Distinguishing the Benzodiazepines From One Another57. If I am suffering from continued anxiety after achieving sobriety, can I continue to take Ativan or similar antianxiety medication?Anxiety, Insomnia, and DepressionTreatmentLong-Term Treatment with BenzodiazepinesAlternatives to Benzodiazepines in the Management of AnxietyDistinguishing Discontinuation Syndromes58. Ever since I quit drinking I cant sleep at night. What should I do?Sleep ArchitectureChronic InsomniaTreatment for Insomnia59. Are there any alternative treatments or herbal remedies for alcoholism?60. Are vaccines available for various addictive drugs?PART V. Associated Conditions61. What are the medical consequences of alcoholism?Respiratory SystemGastrointestinal SystemCardiovascular SystemHematologic and Immune SystemsMusculoskeletal SystemGenitourinary/Endocrine Systems and MetabolismInsulin Sensitivity62. Can alcoholism cause dementia?Wernicke/Korsakoff's SyndromeAlcohol-Related DementiaVascular Dementia63. Are there other neurological effects of alcoholism?64. What are DTs?65. I had withdrawal seizures. Does that mean that I now need to take an anticonvulsant?66. A family member hears voices even when he is not drinking. Is it caused by the alcohol or does he have schizophrenia?67. How are alcoholism and mood disorders linked?68. My spouse has mood swings along with his/her addiction problem. Could he or she have bipolar disorder?69. I have cirrhosis of the liver. Is that reversible?70. Am I eligible for a liver transplant if my liver failure is from my alcoholism?71. Are there any medications that I should avoid if I have hepatitis?72. What sexual problems does alcohol cause?73. When I stopped drinking, I started smoking a lot more. I'm afraid that if I try to quit smoking I may go back to drinking. What can I do?74. I got into a vicious cycle using alcohol to come down from cocaine. The doctors tell me that I'm an alcoholic, but my drug of choice has always been cocaine. Do I need to be concerned?PART VI. Special Populations75. I was drinking during my first trimester of pregnancy before I knew I was pregnant. What are the risks to my unborn baby?76. My baby was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. What is that, and what does it mean for my baby?77. How do I know whether my child is just experimenting with alcohol and drugs or has a real problem with them?78. How old do my children need to be before I start talking to them about alcohol?Guidelines For Parents79. I grew up in another country where alcohol was part of the culture and teenagers were allowed to drink. Why cant I continue that tradition with my own children?80. My teenage child is taking a class trip to Germany where drinking is permitted. Is that a problem?81. My teenager has a serious problem with marijuana. He constantly points out that I drink., and therefore, he doesn't see the problem with his marijuana use. What do I tell him?Marijuana Effects82. My daughter refuses to take the medication prescribed and continues to abuse drugs and alcohol. She repeatedly points out that she doesn't see any difference between a drug that the doctor prescribed to help her moods and the more "natural" approach that she chooses. How do I counter that?83. I experimented with drugs and alcohol as a teen and grew out of it without the need for treatment. So why are they telling me that my daughter needs treatment?84. I am concerned that my teenager is drinking. I have heard about parents having "key parties" in their homes to ensure that the teens don't drive home drunk. What are they fHarris Interactive Survey of ParentsSurvey of Teens85. How are men and women different in their responses to alcohol?86. My spouse just returned from the service over seas. He refuses to talk about the time over there. He says he needs to drink because he has nightmares and trouble sleeping. I am worried that he is an alcoholic. What can I do?87. Does alcohol affect older persons differently?Factors Associated With Drinking and Older Persons88. We are thinking about moving to a rural area to avoid the drug and drinking problems that our children are exposed to in the city. Do rural Americans, especially teens, have similar problems with alcohol or drugs?89. I have heard the term "impaired professional. " Do professionals have similar problems with alcohol or drugs as others? If I suspect that a professional is impaired, what should I do?PART VII. Surviving Alcoholism90. Will I ever be able to drink again?91. I was arrested for a DUI. What should I do?92. What are my rights to privacy?93. I am worried about my employer finding out about my treatment. How can I prevent his or her finding out?94. My employer ordered me into treatment or risk getting fired? What are my rights?95. What is co-dependency? How do I know if I am co-dependent, and what can I do about it?96. My family member is an alcoholic and refuses to get help. What should I do?97. What is the impact of alcoholism on children?Characteristics of Alcoholic FamiliesYoung Children of AlcoholicsAdult Children of Alcoholics98. What resources are available for women whose spouses are alcoholic and abusive?99. What are my rights to refuse treatment?Informed ConsentThe Elements Necessary to Refuse TreatmentLife-Threatening Conditions100. Where can I get more information?Glossary
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