Late treatment of alcohol addiction

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Alcohol addiction is often treated too late!

(06/15/2010) Alcohol is a socially recognized intoxicant. Drinking beer with football, a schnapps after dinner or a bottle of wine after work in the evening. Alcohol is an integral part of many people's lives. Alcohol is often used to balance stress, grief and worry. Those affected only recognize an addiction a long time later, often years pass. On average, alcoholics can only be treated therapeutically twelve years after the start of addiction.

A frightening number were published at the 23rd congress of the Fachverbandes Sucht e.V. On average, it takes up to 12 years for an alcoholic to have his addiction treated. In the meantime, the body breaks down heavily, performance, psyche and health are permanently damaged. According to the addiction industry association, it takes far too long for a doctor to determine an addiction syndrome. "A lot had gone wrong by then," said the federal government drug commissioner, Mechthild Dyckmans.

From an economic perspective, alcohol addiction is also very harmful. Alcohol addiction alone costs 24.4 billion euros a year, according to the Robert Koch Institute. The institute adds up all the costs that are directly related to alcohol addiction. In this way, early retirement, treatment costs and incapacity for work are taken into account.

At the 23rd Congress in Heidelberg, which continues until Wednesday, not only alcohol addictions are discussed. But alcoholism is the focus of the congress. In addition, one has already achieved great success in treatment. In the future, the aim is to further expand the "early intervention", which has been neglected too much in recent years, even though the early intervention is particularly effective. Primarily general practitioners who know their patients best and who can intervene at an early stage should be made more aware of this goal. According to the latest studies, inpatient and outpatient therapies are very effective. After all, 50 percent of alcohol addicts are still abstinent after one year. The treatment methods in Germany are very successful in international comparison. (sb)

Also read:
Addiction: More and more women are being treated

Photo credit: Image: Sigrid Rossmann /

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Video: Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction


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