Monday, May 13, 2013

Using Alcohol to Temper Mood Increases Dependence Risk

In a large prospective study of some 4,200 individuals with mood symptoms, those who self-medicated their symptoms with alcohol were found to be three times more likely to develop alcohol dependence as were those who did not self-medicate their symptoms with alcohol. Altogether 12 percent of the former group developed alcohol dependence. Moreover, the association was equally strong for men and women, across race and ethnicity, among older individuals as well as young adults, and among those with fewer mood symptoms and those with more symptoms.

"Drinking to self-medicate mood symptoms may be a potential target for prevention and early-intervention efforts aimed at reducing the occurring of alcohol dependence," Rosa Krum, M.D., a professor of epidemiology, psychiatry, and mental health at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, and colleagues concluded May 1 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Information about co-occurring mood disorders and alcohol dependence and how to treat them can be found in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Information about alcohol dependence, as well as its treatment, can be found in The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, Fourth Edition."

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