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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Alcoholism Treatment from an Evidence-based Perspective

by Mark Rose, MA 5 CE Credits

Alcohol abuse and dependence constitutes a major public health concern.  Alcoholism is responsible for more than 15% of the national health care budget in the United States, with approximately 40% of all hospital admissions being alcohol-related. Roughly 100,000 people in the U.S. die each year from alcohol-related causes.  Additionally, alcohol use is a factor in a large proportion of physical and sexual assaults, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, as well as developmental disorders, birth defects and sudden infant death syndrome among children of alcohol-abusing mothers.

There is compelling data indicating that accessible alcoholism treatment benefits the individual and society as a whole. This course will enable mental health providers and allied health professionals to gain an understanding of the causes of alcoholism. Further, an evidence-based perspective of the effectiveness of current interventions for alcoholism is presented. Specifically, psychosocial therapies, self-help organizations, pharmacologic approaches, and alternative/complementary therapies that are currently used with alcohol dependence is reviewed with a focus on adults diagnosed with alcohol dependence. Empirical data on the  use of these therapies in tandem is also addressed.


This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB CE clock hours (Substance Abuse) and NYSED CE credit.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction and Background
  • Definition of Alcohol Dependence
  • Epidemiology and Sociodemographics
  • Psychiatric Conditions Associated with Alcoholism
  • Causes of Alcoholism
  • Psychosocial Therapies
  • Self-help Therapies
  • Project MATCH
  • Pharmacotherapies
  • Synergistic Effects of Pharmacotherapy and Psychosocial Therapy
  • Alternative and Complementary Therapies
  • Conclusion
  • Resources
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Define alcohol dependence, including the role of gender, ethnicity and other sociocultural factors on its prevalence.
  • Summarize the current data on the etiology of alcoholism within 3 prominent domains: genetic, familial, environmental.
  • Discuss and clinically apply 6 evidence-based treatments for alcoholism, as well as incorporate 2 self-help approaches into active intervention and behavior maintenance.
  • Recognize the important integrative role allied health professionals can play in the treatment of alcoholism, including the possible use of 3 FDA-approved agents, 3 non-FDA approved (off label) agents, and 5 alternative/complementary therapies.