Alcohol use disorders are common in Australia and are often unrecognised. Alcohol places a significant burden on our healthcare system by increasing the risk of injuries as well as many chronic medical conditions. Diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion and can be aided by the use of specific questionnaires, such as the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test-C. The current available laboratory tests are of limited sensitivity and specificity, but can nevertheless aid in the diagnosis in some circumstances. Newer tests, such as ethyl-glucuronide and phosphatidylethanol, are more sensitive and specific but are costly and not widely available. The effective management of alcohol use disorder entails psychosocial or pharmacological treatments or a combination of both. In those who cannot reduce alcohol consumption, harm reduction strategies can be applied to reduce the burden of harm to the drinkers as well as the community at large.
- alcohol use disorder