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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


SUELVES, Josep M. et al. Specialised treatment for alcohol abuse or dependence. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2014, vol.88, n.4, pp.541-549. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: The National Plan for Drugs in Spain (PNSD) fostered the prevention and treatment of illegal drug use disorders, and now also covers alcohol use disorders. The goal of this paper is to estimate the number of persons in specialized treatment because of alcohol in public services. Methods: Review of the key documents of the PNSD, the drug information system of Catalonia, and the Barcelona drug information system. For Catalonia and Barcelona data from 1991 to 2010 are presented. Results: In recent years, there has been more information available for Spain as a whole, of varying validity and comprehensiveness. In Catalonia, the number of reported admissions to treatment for alcohol use disorders has risen: alcohol causes yearly over 40% of all admissions in the drug addiction treatment network; mean age is 44 years, and 23% are women. In Barcelona, admissions to treatment due to alcohol are more than 2.000 each year, relative frequency is 217 by 100.000 residents over 15 years for men and 67 for women. Conclusions: Available data shows that for alcohol, the drug information system needs further development in Spain, solving methodological issues. Available data for Catalonia suggests that the network of drug treatment centres has improved treatment for alcohol use disorders along with that of illegal drugs. This information is relevant, as there is almost no population based treatment data. This information should be completed for other Regional Administrations.

Keywords : Alcohol abuse; Alcohol dependence; Alcohol treatment; Information systems; Health service research.

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