Priority Medicines for Europe and the World 2013 Update. Background Paper 6 - Priority Diseases and Reasons for Inclusion. BP 6.14 - Harmful Use of Alcohol, Alcohol Use Disorders and Alcoholic Liver Diseases
(2013; 71 pages)


Around two billion people worldwide consume alcoholic beverages regularly and over 76 million people suffer from Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD). Many interacting issues are at work when dealing with alcohol abuse: the medical sequelae, alcohol intoxication, alcohol tolerance, alcohol dependence, and alcohol withdrawal. From a public health viewpoint, the diseases associated with alcohol abuse are preventable with abstention and such behavioral modifications should be considered as the primary intervention. The present review will offer an overview of the strategies to prevent Alcohol Consumption (ACo), pharmacological interventions for alcohol abuse and dependence (collectively termed AUD) and alcohol’s hepatotoxic effects that result in Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD). This background paper update reviewed the latest evidence from 2002 through 2012, on the basis of an analysis of published systematic reviews and meta-analyses, which were identified through searches of The Cochrane Library, Medline, Web of Science, Google Scholar and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), with specific search terms for alcohol use disorders, alcoholic liver diseases and alcohol consumption. If relevant references within the timeframe described above were not found, older ones were considered. Reference sections of identified papers were cross-checked to identify other relevant studies contributing to this review.

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