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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Alcohol Treatment Guide

Bridget M. Kuehn
JAMA. 2007;297:1307

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has released an updated guide, Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much: A Clinician's Guide, for physicians treating patients with alcohol problems (

For the first time, the publication includes instructions for primary care physicians and nurses who wish to provide medication-based therapy to patients with alcohol dependence. According to the agency, such treatment is crucial because many patients lack access to specialty treatment or refuse such care.

Other new features include a handout that describes strategies to help patients reduce their drinking or to quit, a Web page with resources for clinicians and patients, and information about the recently approved monthly injectable version of naltrexone.