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Do Alcoholics Also Have A Mental Disorder?

June 24th, 2010 – Posted by James W. West M.D. F.A.C.S. in Doctors Office


Question:  How many people who are alcoholic have a mental disorder?

Answer: Alcoholism is a mental or behavioral disorder so I would say all of them.  A comprehensive study of the United States population at large (Regiar, D.I. et al, the De Facto U.S. Mental and Addictive Disorders Service System, Archives of General Psychiatry, Feb. 1993) showed that of the total sample, 13.5 percent received an alcohol-related diagnosis and of this group 22.3 percent had an additional psychiatric diagnosis.  An anxiety disorder is the most frequent psychiatric condition to accompany alcoholism.  Fortunately, the vast majority of those people suffering from a dual disorder respond successfully to the psychotherapeutic and behavioral modification measures used in standard alcoholism treatment centers.  Occasionally a more severe anxiety or phobic condition requires a nonaddicting medication in addition to alcoholism therapy.

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