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Alcohol Use Disorder and Depressive Disorders

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and depressive disorders are among the most prevalent psychiatric disorders and co-occur more often than expected by chance. The aim of this review is to characterize the prevalence, course, and treatment of co-occurring AUD and depressive disorders. Studies have indicated that the co-occurrence of AUD and depressive disorders is associated with greater severity and...

Common Biological Mechanisms of Alcohol Use Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are highly comorbid. Although recent clinical studies provide some understanding of biological and subsequent behavioral changes that define each of these disorders, the neurobiological basis of interactions between PTSD and AUD has not been well-understood. In this review, we summarize the relevant animal models that parallel...

Alcohol Use Disorder and Co-Occurring Mental Health Conditions - From the Editors

This issue of Alcohol Research: Current Reviews (ARCR) delves into studies on co-occurring alcohol use disorder (AUD) and mental health conditions, exploring how this co-occurrence affects symptom severity, prognosis, and outcomes. Increased risk because of co-occurrence, challenges because of disorder heterogeneity, and efficacy of treatment interventions are reviewed.

Among people with AUD...

Alcohol and Stress in the Military

Problematic alcohol use within the United States military has been linked to substantial financial and productivity losses. Data from 2006 revealed that excessive alcohol consumption cost the U.S. military $1.12 billion per year (Harwood et al. 2009). Regarding medical expenditures, studies have found that excessive alcohol use by military members results in an annual cost of $425 million...

Suicidal Behavior: Links Between Alcohol Use Disorder and Acute Use of Alcohol

Research on associations of suicidal behavior, including suicide and suicide attempt, with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and acute use of alcohol (AUA) are discussed, with an emphasis on data from meta-analyses. Based on psychological autopsy investigations, results indicate that AUD is prevalent among individuals who die by suicide. Results also indicate that AUD is a potent risk factor for suicidal...

Treatment Interventions for Women With Alcohol Use Disorder

Women with alcohol use disorder (AUD) experience more barriers to AUD treatment and are less likely to access treatment than men with AUD. A literature review identified several barriers to women seeking help: low perception of a need for treatment; guilt and shame; co-occurring disorders; employment, economic, and health insurance disparities; childcare responsibilities; and fear of child...

Integrating Treatment for Co-Occurring Mental Health Conditions

Given the high co-occurrence between alcohol use disorder (AUD) and mental health conditions (MHCs), and the increased morbidity associated with the presence of co-occurring disorders, it is important that co-occurring disorders be identified and both disorders addressed in integrated treatment. Tremendous heterogeneity exists among individuals with co-occurring conditions, and factors related to...

Co-Occurring Alcohol Use Disorder and Anxiety: Bridging the Psychiatric, Psychological, and Neurobiological Perspectives

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

—George Santayana

Few observations in psychiatry have been documented as long and as consistently as the association between anxiety (and general negative affect) and the chronic misuse of alcohol. Research has shown that up to 50% of individuals receiving treatment for problematic alcohol use also met diagnostic criteria...

Gender Differences in Binge Drinking

A large research literature shows that women consistently consume less alcohol than men, and they experience fewer social problems resulting from drinking than men, but these gender differences vary culturally, demographically, and historically.

Measuring the Burden - Editor's Note

Alcohol use is associated with tremendous costs to the drinker, those around him or her, and society as a whole. These costs result from the increased health risks (both physical and mental) associated with alcohol consumption as well as from the social harms caused by alcohol. This issue of Alcohol Research: Current Reviews examines the public health impact of alcohol consumption, looking at the...