Disability associated with alcohol abuse and dependence

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2010 Nov;34(11):1871-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01275.x.


Background: Alcohol use disorders (AUD), i.e., alcohol dependence and abuse, are major contributors to burden of disease. A large part of this burden is because of disability. However, there is still controversy about the best disability weighting for AUD. The objective of this study was to provide an overview of alcohol-related disabilities.

Methods: Systematic literature review and expert interviews.

Results: There is heterogeneity in experts' descriptions of disabilities related to AUD. The major core attributes of disability related to AUD are changes of emotional state, social relationships, memory and thinking. The most important supplementary attributes are anxiety, impairments of speech and hearing.

Conclusions: This review identified the main patterns of disability associated with AUD. However, there was considerable variability, and data on less prominent patterns were fragmented. Further and systematic research is required for increasing the knowledge on disability related to AUD and for application of interventions for reducing the associated burden.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / classification
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / chemically induced
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Cost of Illness
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Emotions / drug effects
  • Hearing Disorders / chemically induced
  • Hearing Disorders / psychology
  • Humans
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Social Behavior
  • Speech Disorders / chemically induced
  • Speech Disorders / psychology
  • Thinking / drug effects