Impact of alcohol detoxification on anxiety and depressive symptoms

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2002 Oct 1;68(2):215-20. doi: 10.1016/s0376-8716(02)00195-3.


Anxiety and depression are frequently encountered 'collateral' symptoms in alcohol abusing subjects. The present study investigated the effect of detoxification on these symptoms over 4-5 weeks of abstinence from alcohol. Psychopathology and global functioning were assessed at baseline and at weekly intervals over this period from 28 alcoholics treated on an inpatient basis. At intake, they displayed high levels of anxiety and depression; also, global functioning was seriously impaired. Following detoxification, scores on all measures of psychopathology were notably reduced. These findings allude to the depression-inducing properties of alcohol, which should be considered in the differential diagnosis of mood symptoms in alcohol abusing individuals.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation*
  • Anxiety Disorders / complications
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / complications
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Sampling Studies
  • Temperance