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Alcohol Withdrawal in the Elderly

Barry I. Liskow, Chris Rinck, Jan Campbell, Cherilyn DeSouza

The phenomenon of alcohol withdrawal has seldom been studied in subgroups of patients in withdrawal. We developed a rating scale for measuring alcohol withdrawal that we found to be reliable and valid. The scale, when applied to young (ages 21-33, N = 24) and elderly (ages 58-77, N = 26) groups of patients in alcohol withdrawal, indicated that the elderly group initially had a more severe withdrawal for which they received higher doses of chlordiazepoxide.