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Title: Alcoholism and related problems
Authors: Galea, Abraham
Keywords: Alcoholism -- Diagnosis
Alcoholism -- Treatment
Alcoholism -- Neurobiology
Issue Date: 1984
Publisher: University of Malta Medical School
Citation: Galea, A. (1984). Alcoholism and related problems. Medi-Scope, 5, 21-23.
Abstract: Alcoholism is a condition in which the individual has lost control over his drinking or is unable to abstain. Problem drinking is a term used to describe abnormal drinking which has not yet progressed to the stage of dependence. It is important from the clinical point of view because heavy bouts of drinking on weekends may be dangerous to the family, to the self and to others like driving, work etc. The Characteristics of Alcoholism are (Jellinek 1946) as follows: Pre-Alcoholic Phase: when alcohol is more taken as a relief and this becomes more regular while tolerance is increased; Prodromal Phase: marked by blackouts in which the drinker, after a moderate amount of alcohol by his own standards, may show no signs of intoxication and be able to carry out acts requiring a high degree of coordination of which he subsequently has no recollection - an important warning. At this point the patient has more blackouts alternating between a superficial attitude to his problem and short periods of insight and guilt. The Crucial Phase is ushered in by a loss of control in which the ingestion of even a very small quantity of alcohol sets up a compulsive demand for more which ceases only when his stomach or nervous system calls a halt. The Chronic Phase is marked by prolonged periods of intoxication with absence from work, serious deterioration in ethical attitudes, covered by a variety of shallow realisations of his drinking behaviour; difficulty in obtaining the usual spirits may now lead to drinking of cheap spirits like methylated spirit.
Appears in Collections:Medi-Scope, Issue 5
Medi-Scope, Issue 5

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