WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 50-59

Co-occurring depression and alcohol-use disorders in South-East Asia: A narrative review

1 National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre and Department of Psychiatry, All Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Yatan Pal Singh Balhara
National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre and Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.206166

PMID: 28597860

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Depression and alcohol-use disorders frequently co-occur and the presence of one augments the adverse consequences of the other. This article reviews and synthesizes the available literature on depression and alcohol-use disorders from the World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region, with respect to epidemiology, screening instruments, interventions and services, and policy. In common with other low- and middle-income settings, data from this region on co-occurring depression and alcohol-use disorders are scarce. The wide variations in language and cultural diversity within the countries of this region further make the identification and management of people with co-occurring depression and alcohol-use disorders a major challenge. A range of interventions for individuals with the two disorders have been studied. However, most of this work has been done in high-income countries, highlighting the need to explore the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of various pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in the WHO South-East Asia Region. Much of this region comprises low-resource settings, with a dearth of trained personnel and resources. Flexible transdiagnostic approaches, delivered by community health workers and integrated into primary health care may be a pragmatic approach. Such services should form part of strengthened national responses to alcohol-related public health problems across the region.

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