Alcohol and trauma

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 1990 Nov;8(4):929-38.


Countermeasures to alcohol-related trauma are essential. The public perception that there is low risk of detection and punishment for alcohol-precipitated violence is being addressed. Current legislation is aimed at decreasing the availability of alcohol (e.g., adjusting legal drinking age, decreasing the serum alcohol intoxication limit, restricting the sale of alcoholic beverages at public events), increasing detection (e.g., greater driver surveillance, increased number of dedicated personnel), strengthening legal penalties for alcohol-related offenses, and mandating rehabilitative therapy. Physicians can intervene in the alcohol-trauma cycle. Unfortunately, they are notably poor in detecting the patient with alcohol-related injury. Moreover, physicians infrequently refer these patients to facilities and personnel that are expert in alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation. Recidivism can be positively impacted by physicians who are sensitive to and versed in the medical and social patterns of alcohol abuse.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Emergency Medicine / methods*
  • Humans
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnosis
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy