Today there is great awareness of the many problems caused by alcohol abuse from a young age. A recent survey by Dr Solomon Yevrovsky, Clinic Director, looked at the number of alcohol-related cases treated in the Emergency Room at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in 2013. He discovered that 266 people were admitted after alcohol abuse, of whom 31 were juveniles. This is a worrying situation and needs a response.
The Health Ministry has recently approved a new drug for treating alcoholism – Selincro. This is effective in reducing alcohol consumption in dependent patients. We also use it in the clinic at Shaare Zedek.
As far as possible, it is important that family members be involved in the process to increase the likelihood of success. At first we have to bring the patient’s attention – and that of his or her family – to the existence of a drinking problem. Then we use dialogue-based techniques to motivate them to stick with the treatment.