Alcoholic Delirium: Warning Signs and Diagnosis
Eliezer Witztum, Izhak Z. Ben-Zion, Vladimir Lerner
Community Mental Health Center; and Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheba
Lately an increasing number of physicians are asked to diagnose and treat physical and mental disorders caused by alcohol abuse, a phenomena which had been quite rare in Israel until recently.
Early diagnosis and efficient treatment are essential for the management of alcohol-dependent patients. Primary care physicians and hospital personnel should be more alert to the growing numbers of alcohol abusers and to their appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This article describes and summarizes the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal in general, and alcoholic delirium in particular. Problems in diagnosis and treatment are illustrated by typical cases, pointing out early clinical warning signs and suggesting some treatment guidelines.