Guidelines for Psychiatrists for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders

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Presenting Author(s): Dr. Sarah Welch, MA, BM BCh, DPhil, FRCPsych

Date and time: 22 Mar 2019 from 13:10 to 14:10

Location: Wildrose Salon C  Floor Map


  1. To understand the range of pharmacological treatments for alcohol use disorders and how they are used
  2. To consider the evidence-base for different approaches to psycho-social treatment for alcohol use disorders
  3. To examine the evidence base for treatment approaches for alcohol use disorders for people who have concurrent mental health disorders.

 Literature References

  1. Lingford-Hughes AR, Welch S, Peters L and Nutt DJ (2012) Evidence-based guidelines for the pharmacological management of substance abuse, harmful use, addiction and comorbidity: recommendations from British Association for Psychopharmacology. Journal of Psychopharmacology 26(7): 899-9520(0) 1–54
  2. NICE (2011a) Alcohol use disorders: diagnosis, assessment and management of harmful drinking and alcohol dependence. NICE clinical guideline 115. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
  3. NICE (2015) Alcohol use disorder: Diagnosis and management of physical complications. NICE clinical guideline 100. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
  4. Our invisible addicts (2018) London: Royal College of Psychiatrists (re older people)
  5. Better care for people with co-occurring mental health and alcohol/drug use conditions: A guide for commissioners and service providers (2017) Public Health England.
  6. Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Review Group:


In this session we will consider various published evidence-based guidelines relating to the treatment of alcohol use disorders, and how they may best be used in clinical practice. This will include consideration of their application in special populations such as older people, as well as strategies for helping people who have concurrent mental health or other substance use disorders. I will focus mainly on a series of guidelines produced in the United Kingdom, but will relate these to a broader context. We will also look at areas in which the evidence base is insubstantial, and the role of clinical consensus in identifying key questions for further enquiry.

Reading & Reference List

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