Disability Associated With Alcohol Abuse and Dependence

Authors

  • Andriy V. Samokhvalov,

    1. From the Public Health and Regulatory Policies (AVS, SP, MR, JR), Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; Department of Psychiatry (AVS, JR), University of Toronto; Dalla Lana School of Public Health (SP, JR), University of Toronto; Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (SP, JR), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; AER Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (RR), Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre; School of Population Health (RR), University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., Australia; and Epidemiological Research Unit (JR), Klinische Psychologie and Psychotherapie, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
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  • Svetlana Popova,

    1. From the Public Health and Regulatory Policies (AVS, SP, MR, JR), Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; Department of Psychiatry (AVS, JR), University of Toronto; Dalla Lana School of Public Health (SP, JR), University of Toronto; Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (SP, JR), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; AER Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (RR), Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre; School of Population Health (RR), University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., Australia; and Epidemiological Research Unit (JR), Klinische Psychologie and Psychotherapie, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
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  • Robin Room,

    1. From the Public Health and Regulatory Policies (AVS, SP, MR, JR), Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; Department of Psychiatry (AVS, JR), University of Toronto; Dalla Lana School of Public Health (SP, JR), University of Toronto; Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (SP, JR), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; AER Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (RR), Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre; School of Population Health (RR), University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., Australia; and Epidemiological Research Unit (JR), Klinische Psychologie and Psychotherapie, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
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  • Milita Ramonas,

    1. From the Public Health and Regulatory Policies (AVS, SP, MR, JR), Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; Department of Psychiatry (AVS, JR), University of Toronto; Dalla Lana School of Public Health (SP, JR), University of Toronto; Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (SP, JR), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; AER Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (RR), Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre; School of Population Health (RR), University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., Australia; and Epidemiological Research Unit (JR), Klinische Psychologie and Psychotherapie, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
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  • Jürgen Rehm

    1. From the Public Health and Regulatory Policies (AVS, SP, MR, JR), Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; Department of Psychiatry (AVS, JR), University of Toronto; Dalla Lana School of Public Health (SP, JR), University of Toronto; Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (SP, JR), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; AER Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (RR), Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre; School of Population Health (RR), University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., Australia; and Epidemiological Research Unit (JR), Klinische Psychologie and Psychotherapie, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
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Reprint requests: Andriy V. Samokhvalov, MD, PhD, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Public Health and Regulatory Policy, 33 Russell Street, Room 2035, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 2S1; Tel.: 416-535-8501 ext. 6921; Fax: 416-260-4156; E-mail: avsamokhvalov@yahoo.ca

Abstract

Background:  Alcohol use disorders (AUD), i.e., alcohol dependence and abuse, are major contributors to burden of disease. A large part of this burden is because of disability. However, there is still controversy about the best disability weighting for AUD. The objective of this study was to provide an overview of alcohol-related disabilities.

Methods:  Systematic literature review and expert interviews.

Results:  There is heterogeneity in experts’ descriptions of disabilities related to AUD. The major core attributes of disability related to AUD are changes of emotional state, social relationships, memory and thinking. The most important supplementary attributes are anxiety, impairments of speech and hearing.

Conclusions:  This review identified the main patterns of disability associated with AUD. However, there was considerable variability, and data on less prominent patterns were fragmented. Further and systematic research is required for increasing the knowledge on disability related to AUD and for application of interventions for reducing the associated burden.

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