Lesch's Alcoholism Typology

Lesch's alcoholism typology is a tool that aids in formulating treatment plans for alcohol-dependent patients. It is based on a longitudinal study (19 years) of alcohol-dependent patients identified within an area population of 21,000 residents. This typology study identified four subtypes of alcohol dependent patients: 1) the "allergy model" that is caused by a craving for alcohol itself; 2) a "conflict resolution and anxiety model" which is caused by stress-related craving; 3) the "depressive model" which is mood-related craving; and 4) the "conditioning model" which is more of a habituated use of alcohol. Once the type of alcoholism is identified it is simpler to create a treatment program that addresses the underlying issues.

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