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Article   |    
Psychotropic Medication Used in the Treatment of Alcoholism
James A. Halikas
Psychiatric Services 1983; doi:
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Medical College of Wisconsin, 9455 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226

1983 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Psychotropic medications are sometimes part of the combination of well-known techniques used to treat alcoholism. Some alcoholics present with complex problems, such as schizophrenia, that require specific medications, but in primary alcoholism, almost any psychiatric symptom that develops usually abates rapidly after abstinence. The author frst reviews the assets and liabil ities of using various categories of psychotropic medications to maintain abstinence in primary alcoholics, and then discusses the use of alcohol avoidants. Controlled studies indicate that of all the medications discussed, only disulfiram has found a significant place in the long-term treatment of chronic alcoholism, but that it too has its limitations and should be used only as an adjunct to a more comprehensive rehabilitation program.

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