Alcohol addiction is a disease, comment


When assessing a patient with potential or actual alcohol abuse it is important to assess their mental health status as well and realize how closely alcohol abuse and mental illness go hand in hand. In obtaining information clients should feel a good level of comfort with the nurse in order to disclose information willingly about alcohol intake. Many patients with mental illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder that are undiagnosed will self medicate with alcohol. Obtaining a good family mental health history as well as collecting an inventory about emotions and feelings may help the nurse identify patients at risk for alcoholism. A nurse should also be aware at risk factors for depression and anxiety and collect good subjective and objective data during the patient interview. A persons ability to care for themselves and personal hygiene are good examples of objective data collection. Another piece of valuable information is a patients support system and living arrangements. A nurse should document a patients orientation, memory, communication skills and reasoning. The Audit and Cage tests can be used in a more structured assessment for alcohol abuse as additional supportive data. Alcoholism is a complicated disease that has many factors to address when helping a patient to find the resources to overcome it. Treating a patient holistically when considering alcoholism will allow the nurse to identify predisposing or precipitating factors of this disease.

Original Post
July 9, 2010
Title: Alcohol addiction is a disease, comment
Alcohol impacts the lives of many individuals. Alcohol is a dangerous drug that is widely used and abused. There is evidence everywhere in our society, advertisements, socials events, sporting events, alcohol is everywhere. While there are many who can drink responsibly and not get to the point of alcohol being a problem in their life, there is a large percent of our population that has alcoholism. This is a very difficult disease, since there is no cure, no medicine it is something a patient has to overcome this disease using willpower and other methods requiring mental strength.

The nurse’s assessment plays a role in identifying if alcohol or any other substance may be controlling and having a negative effect on a patient’s life. During the assessment the nurse can identify alcohol dependence, abuse, or addictions. The patient may not even realize they have an alcohol problem the nurse can not only assist the patient in identifying a problem they can provide education to assist the patient in finding and evaluating treatment options. The nurse can also educate the patient during the assessment on how alcohol affects the body and mind short term and long term.

Advanced nursing assessment and forensic nursing may overlap on matters that may be related in some emergency situations caused from alcohol abuse. A forensic nurse may be involved in the care of a patient in the ER from an alcohol related incident. In this circumstance a forensic nurse would be required to utilize her advanced assessment skills to care for the patient as well as fulfill her role as a forensic nurse.

Original Post

September 28, 2009

Title: Alcohol addiction is a disease

Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused psychoactive drug in the United States. Of those seeking treatment 50% will relapse in the first few months of therapy. Everyone around these patients is effected by this disease. Nursing is on the forefront of the battle these individuals undertake. Alcohol use is broken down into two categories abuse and dependence. Alcohol abuse is characterized as a pattern of use leading to one or more manifestations in a period of a year such as a failure to fulfill major roles or obligations at work, school or home. Recurrent alcohol related legal problems or being in physically hazardous situations and continued use despite problems with relationships caused by or exacerbated by alcohol. Alcohol dependence is a pattern of three or more manifestations in a year such as having a tolerance to alcohol, showing signs of withdrawal, consuming larger amounts or over longer periods than had intended. Continued use of alcohol despite desire or failed attempts to cut down consumption. Drinking and recovering from use takes up more and more time. Continued use despite knowing it is doing damage physically or psychologically, as well as those listed above for abuse. Alcohol not only effects those who are abusing or dependent on the drug, but everyone around them. As a child I remember the late night phone call my mother received that her father, only 49 years old, had passed away after having too much to drink, vomited and aspirated his stomach contents. He was an abuser, a weekend social drinker whose life alcohol had very little impact on until that night, then it had the ultimate impact. A patient I took care of many years ago had a similar experience, he was a young man in his early 30’s, he too aspirated after vomiting, he survived this initially only to be left with damage to his brain from a lack of oxygen. He would live the rest of his life in a coma like state, with a grieving wife and child. Alcohol is a treatable disease, when a patient comes to a hospital or clinic, they have chosen to undertake the battle of their lives. They are not able to do this alone, the attitudes of family and nurses as well as others they may come into contact with are crucial. A compassionate nurse can change the life of a patient, as well as an unsympathetic nurse whose attitude may be “they did this to themselves.” Alcohol dependence or abuse should be seen for what it is a real disease that needs real treatment. These patients need all the support they can get from those around them, and education on the subject is paramount to recognizing the signs and symptoms that manifest. Education for healthcare workers so they understand these patients, as well as how to successfully treat them with medications, together with the patient’s desire to enter therapy will hopefully change that 50% to 25% or better 0% relapse in first few months.

Legal Services for Alcohol Abuse Addiction

Patient Education & Counseling online course

Public Health Nursing online certificate program

Forensic Nursing Online Certificate Program

Forensic Nursing Online Introduction Course

Online Advanced Nursing Health Assessment Course

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