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Alcohol Use and Psychiatric Illness in Emergency Patients

Douglas A. Rund, MD; William K. Summers, MD; Michael Levin
JAMA. 1981;245(12):1240-1241. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310370032018.
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Screening for alcoholism and associated psychiatric disorders using preselected research criteria demonstrated an overall prevalence of alcoholism of 20% in 200 emergency department patients. The nighttime prevalence of alcoholism was 29%, while the daytime prevalence was 11%. The psychiatric disorders most frequently associated with alcoholism were primary affective disorder (depression) and antisocial personality. The alcoholics had chief complaints relating to trauma in 63% of the cases, vague neuropsychiatric complaints in 23% of the cases, and complaints directly related to alcohol in 8% of the cases. Screening for alcoholism and associated psychiatric illnesses is important in determining an overall treatment strategy for emergency patients.

(JAMA 1981;245:1240-1241)


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