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The Many Influences Of Bipolar And Alcoholism

1606 words - 6 pages

Methods were used to assess 50 clients who had recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The results found that alcohol abuse last longer if the patients had longer depression durations. Although this group studied was only preliminary and would need to be larger for a more accurate outcome we still get a sense of how these two illness might interact long term.
Frye (2006) conducted research on different medications used to treat those with a co-occurring disorder. Along with research he also provides many statistics that help us better understand the illness at hand. We learn in this article that men with bipolar I or II have a higher lifetime prevalence rate of alcohol use. Men’s use being at 49% and women displaying a prevalence of 29%. The addition of alcohol can cause serious implications on the course of illness, “Bipolar patients with co-occurring alcohol use disorders in comparison with bipolar patients without co-occurring alcohol use disorders have higher rates of mixed or dysphoric mania, rapid cycling, increased manic and depressed symptom severity, and higher levels of novelty seeking, suicidality, aggres- sivity, and impulsivity” (Frye, 2006, p.678). Alcohol may add complications to an already complicated mental illness, which is why finding an appropriate treatment is important. From the research in this study divalproex and carbanazephine seem to be useful medications that with more research may be useful options in the treatment of bipolar and alcoholism.
The next article written by Azorin et al, (2010) is a review of the literature that plunges into the past four years of medication studies to see what information is useful regarding bipolar and alcoholism. These researchers found this review to be extremely important due to the large numbers of people with bipolar that will develop a substance use disorder. The authors found that very little research has been conducted regard some medication like valproate and toplramate but found a fair amount of information concerning anticonvulsants and lithium. Overall, the study had positive outcomes concerning the drug valproate, but their needs to be more research done in order to confirm medication as a legitimate treatment in dually diagnosed patients.
This article is somewhat dated but has consistent results with the other studies mentioned in this review. This was a follow up study that looked at 70 patients with bipolar and alcoholism and 161 clients with bipolar alone. Relatives were also studied and the control group was friends of the relatives. The results found a constant result of bipolar patients displaying more alcoholic tendencies. There was another outcome that for the time was new information. “Manic episodes are associated with increased consumption of alcohol in 40% of cases” (Winokur et al, 1995, p. 365). This means that manic episodes may be brought on more rapidly or be longer lasting when alcohol is abused. The study also found in its results that the...

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