Many alcohol dependent patients have other psychiatric conditions which can be successfully treated. About 1/3 to 1/2 of all the adult population in the United States have at least one transient alcohol-related episode usually a blackout, a DUI, or altered or impaired school or work performance. Twenty percent of men and 10% of women meet diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse during their lifetime. Approximately 1 in 20 women and 1 in 10 men meet diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependency during their lifetimes. Commonly related causes of death include suicide, cancer, heart disease and liver disease.
Successful treatment often includes a comprehensive battery of psychological testing, cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy including antidepressants when appropriate and even Antabuse to enable complete abstinence when the situation is severe and the risks and benefits of treatment have been weighed and carefully considered. Dr. Covert typically will refer the patient to a competent medical specialist for a physical examination with laboratory studies to determine if there has been damage to the pancreas, the liver and other organs.