Alcohol dependence and the need to drink: A compulsion?

R. Caetano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In 1976 Edwards & Gross described for the first time the alcohol dependence syndrome. The description is innovative and constitutes a genuine attempt to adapt clinical thought about alcohol problems to recent epidemiological findings that contradict some of the ideas associated with the traditional disease concept of alcoholism. The syndrome is proposed not as an all-or-none phenomenon, but as a group of symptoms all of which have a spectrum of gradation. One aspect of the Edwards & Gross (1976) description which has not been discussed in the literature is their characterization of alcoholics' subjective experience as a 'compulsion' to drink. Although this is ony one among the seven elements of diagnosis proposed for the syndrome, it is crucial for an understanding of why alcoholics engage in noxious drinking as well as for the nosological placement of the syndrome in psychiatric classifications. The aim of this paper is to discuss whether the characteristics of the subjective experience of alcoholics satisfy traditional phenomenological descriptions of compulsions as observed in clinical psychiatry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-469
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Medicine
Volume15
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1985

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Alcoholism
Alcoholics
Psychiatry
Drinking
Alcohols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Alcohol dependence and the need to drink : A compulsion? / Caetano, R.

In: Psychological Medicine, Vol. 15, No. 3, 1985, p. 463-469.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Caetano, R. / Alcohol dependence and the need to drink : A compulsion?. In: Psychological Medicine. 1985 ; Vol. 15, No. 3. pp. 463-469.
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