Alcohol dependence and withdrawal in the acute hospital

Alcohol dependence is common among patients attending acute hospitals but doctors in these settings are often inexperienced at assessing dependence or managing withdrawal and care can therefore be suboptimal.

NICE has recently published full guidance on the management of dependence and withdrawal. The information presented here is adapted from this guidance and is aimed at particularly at doctors and other healthcare professionals working in the acute setting.

This guideline was originally published in Clinical Medicine, volume 12, issue 3. You can also access guidance developed by the National Guideline Centre on identifying, assessing and managing alcohol-use disorders (harmful drinking and alcohol dependence) in adults and young people aged 10–17 years