This article focuses on emerging approaches to early detection and prevention of alcoholism. Speakers at the October 2004 Congress for the International Society for Bio Medical Research on Alcoholism discussed emerging approaches to early detection of alcohol abuse and, or dependence.|
Current methods miss alcohol abuse; medical screening of patients is not an efficient way to reduce dangerous drinking. Current methods consist mainly of screening for liver damage and self reporting, which don’t detect most cases of alcohol dependence. The fact is, most alcohol abusers will not admit they have a problem until it becomes painfully obvious.
Mr. Harris states, “When there is finally an accurate biomarker for alcohol abuse, it will be interesting to see where society feels use of this test is warranted and where it is intrusive.” Early detection makes it that much easier to treat alcohol problems before they become dependence issues; biomarkers can help to make adherence to abstinence that much more likely. People need to remember that alcohol abuse harms an individual’s health, and harms the family and society. These new advances are designed to be used to help people who either aren’t aware that they are at risk or deny that their drinking is a problem.