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Alcohol-use disorders: diagnosis and management of physical complications

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Last updated:11th Apr 2017

Continued hazardous and harmful drinking can result in alcohol dependence. An abrupt reduction in alcohol intake in a person who has been drinking excessively for a prolonged period of time may result in the development of an alcohol withdrawal syndrome. In addition, persistent drinking at hazardous and harmful levels can result in damage to almost every organ or system of the body.

This guideline covers key areas in the investigation and management of the following alcoholrelated conditions in adults and young people (aged 10 years and older):
- acute alcohol withdrawal, including seizures and delirium tremens
- Wernicke's encephalopathy
- liver disease
- acute and chronic pancreatitis.

This guideline covers care for adults and young people (aged 10 years and older) with physical health problems that are completely or partly caused by an alcohol-use disorder. It aims to improve the health of people with alcohol-use disorders by providing recommendations on managing acute alcohol withdrawal and treating alcohol-related conditions.

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