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Psychosocial treatment of alcohol use disorder

Mark D Aronson, MD
Section Editor
Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM
Deputy Editor
Richard Hermann, MD


An alcohol use disorder is a highly prevalent and disabling condition. It is associated with high rates of medical and psychiatric comorbidity as well as early mortality. The psychiatric diagnoses, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, in DSM-IV-TR were replaced by one diagnosis, alcohol use disorder, in DSM-5 [1].

Psychosocial treatments can reduce alcohol consumption and increase abstinence, either alone or in conjunction with pharmacologic treatment. Short-term goals of psychosocial treatment include:

Encouraging and supporting abstinence, or reduction in alcohol use

Supporting adherence to medication for alcohol use disorder

Promoting participation in other psychosocial services


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Sep 15, 2015.
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