New Survey Results from the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Suggest Only 34% of General Public Recognize Alcoholism as a Disease

Full Results on Attitudes and Misperceptions Will Be Discussed at Expert Panel

Sep 29, 2005, 01:00 ET from Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)

    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
     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
     * One in four children lives with a parent who is dependent on, or abuses,
     * 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
     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)