Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (cont.)

When taking medications, must you stop drinking?

Possibly. More than 150 medications interact harmfully with alcohol. These interactions may result in increased risk of illness, injury, and even death. Alcohol's effects are heightened by medicines that depress the central nervous system, such as sleeping pills, antihistamines, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and some painkillers. In addition, medicines for certain disorders, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, can have harmful interactions with alcohol. If you are taking any over-the-counter or prescription medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you can safely drink alcohol.

How can a person get help for an alcohol problem?

There are many national and local resources that can help. The National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service provides a toll-free telephone number, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), offering various resource information. Through this service you can speak directly to a representative concerning substance abuse treatment, request printed material on alcohol or other drugs, or obtain local substance abuse treatment referral information in your State (see Treatment Referral Information).

Many people also find support groups a helpful aid to recovery. The following list includes a variety of resources:

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA)
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI)

Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism At A Glance
  • Alcoholism is a very common disease.
  • Alcohol abuse affects one in 13 U.S. adults.
  • Alcoholism involves physical dependence.
  • Alcoholism is a treatable but not a curable disease.

SOURCE: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Last Editorial Review: 2/20/2008 6:26:04 PM

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