Alcohol dependence FAQs

Dr Christos Kouimtsidis is an international specialist who was appointed Drug and Alcohol 'Tsar' for Greece. He is also one of London's leading expert consultant psychiatrists specialising in the treatment of addiction - and in particular for alcohol dependence.

Total Health asked Dr Christos to explain the top five FAQs relating to alcohol dependence and in his article, Key Alcohol Dependence FAQs he has listed the following key points:

  • What causes alcohol dependence?
  • Why do people relapse after detox from alcohol?
  • Do people need long-term treatment for alcohol dependence?
  • Is controlled drinking an option for someone dependent on alcohol?
  • What makes relapse most likely?

Dr Christos emphasises the role that our evolution has played in affecting behaviours and habits, and why some people are therefore naturally going to be prone to developing physical and emotional dependence to certain substances including alcohol. He says, "Nature, nurture and learned behaviour all play a part in alcohol dependence. From an evolutionary perspective, consuming alcohol can confer benefits in certain circumstances. As humans and primates we learnt to identify ripe fruits for their sugar and fermented sugar (alcohol) content."

Dr Christos also explains how stress is the most common cause of relapse following alcohol detox. Therefore, in order to improve recovery outcomes, detox needs to be planned in conjunction with advanced pre-habilitation as well as the normal post-detox rehab.


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