Alcohol: use, abuse and dependence.
As a drug, alcohol has grave bio-psychosocial effects on patients, their families and society in general. It is very important that clinicians be able to recognise, admit and thoroughly treat alcoholism. Subsequent to the indicated treatment of intoxication and withdrawal, the clinician should outline sound incentives (external initially, becoming internal in time) for rehabilitation and continued sobriety. A variety of alcohol-induced medical and psychiatric disorders should be recognised by doctors, and should be treated or referred appropriately. The multidisciplinary team should be involved, and doctors should not hesitate to seek help and advice. Alcoholism is potentially quite treatable.