Alcohol dependence or misuse is associated with significant physical and mental morbidity besides social ramifications.

Alcohol dependence is characterised by the following

  • Compulsion to take alcohol
  • Difficulty in controlling alcohol – taking behaviour in terms of its onset, termination, or levels of use.
  • A physiological withdrawal state when alcohol use has ceased or been reduced
  • Evidence of tolerance to alcohol such that increased amount of alcohol is needed to produce the effects originally produced by lesser amount.
  • Neglect of alternative interests.
  • Persistent use despite harm.


Generally treated with a combination of psychosocial and pharmacological interventions.

It may be essential to begin treatment for alcohol detoxification as an in-patient in a psychiatric hospital.

At Priory hospital, Brighton & Hove, we provide comprehensive & multidisciplinary treatments for alcohol dependence including in-patient detox and day hospital programmes, involving the use of psychotropic medications and therapy.