PITTSBURGH, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Seventy-four percent of the general public acknowledge that alcoholism impacts the daily lives of Americans, and more than two out of five Americans say they have encouraged a loved one to seek help for an alcohol problem. Yet, stigma persists, with 63 percent of Americans believing alcoholism is a moral weakness versus a disease (34 percent). Additional results will be shared today from a new survey of 1,000 men and women, 300 general practitioners / internists, and 503 people in recovery sponsored by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) as part of National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. A panel of nationally renowned experts will present today on topics related to alcoholism including the biologic origins of the disease, public health issues, and treatment pathways. The science briefing at 5:30 p.m. EDT -- accessible via teleconference (1.800.611.1148) - includes: * Dr. Alan Leshner, Chief Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Executive Publisher of Science and a member of CADCA Board of Directors * Dr. David Kessler, Dean, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, and former FDA commissioner * Alan Rivlin, Senior Vice President, Peter D. Hart Research Associates * Dr. Drew Pinsky, Medical Director, Department of Chemical Dependency Services Las Encinas Hospital, Los Angeles, CA During the briefing, Dr. Kessler will discuss the disease pathophysiology of alcoholism, co-morbidity with other diseases, and alcoholism as a chronic disease. Of the general public surveyed, 83 percent said they would encourage a loved one to take a physician-recommended medication to treat alcoholism. However, general practitioners and internists lack awareness and experience with the available medications according to the survey results. Dr. Pinsky will review new and existing medications to treat alcoholism and the variety of tools to diagnose and treat patients who suffer from the disease. "Alcoholism is a chronic disease for which some people experience episodes of relapse. The risk for developing alcoholism is influenced both by a person's genes and by his or her behavior. In spite of years of scientific evidence, misperceptions persist about alcoholism which may impede those needing treatment from seeking help," said General Arthur T. Dean, Chairman and CEO of CADCA. "CADCA's coalition network is committed to closing the education gap that exists and driving solutions at the local level to combat the disease of alcoholism." About Alcoholism * Nearly 19 million Americans, or 8 percent of the U.S. population, need treatment for an "alcohol problem," but only 2.4 million have been diagnosed with the disease, and just 139,000 receive medication to treat it. * One in four children lives with a parent who is dependent on, or abuses, alcohol. * Harmful and hazardous drinking is involved in about one-third of suicides, one-half of homicides and one-third of child abuse cases. * Consuming at least four alcoholic beverages a day significantly increases the risk of developing any type of cancer. * Alcoholism abuse and dependence costs the United States $185 billion dollars in direct and indirect social costs per year, with more than 70 percent of the cost attributed to lost productivity. About CADCA Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) is the national membership organization representing coalitions working to make America's communities safe, healthy and drug-free. CADCA's mission is to build and strengthen the capacity of community coalitions by providing technical assistance and training, public policy advocacy, media strategies and marketing programs, conferences, and special events. For more information about CADCA, visit http://www.cadca.org. Technical note: Peter D. Hart Research Associates conducted three online surveys from August 10 to August 26, 2005 among 1,000 members of the general public (aged 20+), 300 general practitioners and internists (aged 25+), and 503 people in recovery (aged 25-50). The surveys were conducted to assess perceptions about alcoholism as a public health issue, attitudes toward alcoholics and those in recovery, and awareness of pathways to treatment. Grant support for the science briefing and survey were provided by Forest Laboratories, Inc. About Forest Laboratories and Its Products Forest Laboratories' growing line of products includes: Lexapro(R) (escitalopram oxalate), an SSRI antidepressant indicated for the initial and maintenance treatment of major depressive disorder and for generalized anxiety disorder in adults; Namenda(R) (memantine HCl), an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor antagonist indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease; Celexa(R) (citalopram HBr), an antidepressant for adults; Benicar(R) * (olmesartan medoxomil), an angiotensin receptor blocker indicated for the treatment of hypertension; Benicar HCT(R) (olmesartan medoxomil- hydrochlorothiazide), an angiotensin receptor blocker and diuretic combination product indicated for the second-line treatment of hypertension; Campral(R)* (acamprosate calcium), a glutamate receptor modulator, indicated for the maintenance of abstinence from alcohol in patients with alcohol dependence who are abstinent at treatment initiation in combination with psychosocial support; and COMBUNOX(TM) (Oxycodone HCl and Ibuprofen) an opioid and NSAID combination indicated for the short-term management of acute, moderate to severe pain.
SOURCE Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)