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Alcohol dependence is characterised by craving, tolerance, a preoccupation with alcohol and continued drinking in spite of harmful consequences (e.g, liver disease or depression caused by drinking).
ICD-10 defines dependency as:
“a cluster of behavioural, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and that typically include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal state.”.
In earlier disease-classification systems this has been referred to as ‘alcoholism’.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) was estimated to affect approximately 18% of the general population lifetime and 5% annually (3)
Griffith Edwards and Gross(1976) defined some simple markers of alcoholism. These are:
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur within 12 hours of the last drink.
Alcohol abstinence improves prognosis across all stages of portal hypertension in alcohol-related cirrhosis, including in patients who have already progressed to high-risk portal hypertension (5)