Archive for the ‘Psychoactive Substances’ Category

Alcohol dependence features

November 20, 2014


  • Compulsion to drink alcohol with stereotyped drinking pattern
  • Aware of physical/psychological harm but continues to drink
  • Neglect of other activities e.g. self-care, social, occupational
  • Tolerance to alcohol
  • Stopping drinking leads to withdrawal symptoms
  • Time pre-occupied with alcohol increases
  • Out of control use of alcohol
  • Persistent, futile attempts to cut down


Source here


Wernicke-Korsakoff’s psychosis features

September 14, 2014

Wernicke’s encephalopathy (acute, reversible)

Reversible COAT

  • Reversible condition and acute
  • Confusion and altered consciousness with disorientation
  • Ophthalmoplegia – abducens and conjugate gaze palsy (90%)
  • ATaxia (90%)


  • Retrograde amnesia
  • Anterograde amnesia
  • Confabulation
  • Kan’t be bothered  – apathy, reduced initiative

Both due to thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency

Substance dependency features

February 16, 2012


  • Tolerance
  • Harm being done to body, patient realises but persists
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Anhedonia in other activities not involving substance
  • Relapse despite repeated attempts to abstain
  • Time is spent obtaining substance or abusing it