In the primary care setting, 20% to 25% of patients experience alcohol-related problems; however, clinicians often treat the symptoms of alcoholism and fail to identify the disease itself. Unlike men, women commonly seek help for alcoholism from primary care clinicians. Further, the development and progression of alcoholism is different in women than in men. Women with alcohol problems have higher rates of dual diagnoses, childhood sexual abuse, panic and phobia disorders, eating disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, and victimization. Early diagnosis, brief interventions, and referral are critical to the treatment of alcoholism in women.
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