Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 123
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825374

Craving differs with alcoholic beverages

T Hillemacher 1, K Bayerlein 1, B Kromolan 1, W Sperling 1, J Kornhuber 1, S Bleich 1
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Background: The importance of craving for relapse in alcoholism was subject in several studies. Goal of this study was to investigate whether patients consuming different alcoholic beverages tend to have variable craving.

Methods: 197 in-patients with chronic alcoholism were assessed with the Obsessive-Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS-G) on the day of hospitalisation. The type of alcoholic beverage was recorded distinguishing between beer, wine and spirits. Multiple answers were accepted. A p<0.05 was considered significant.

Results: Patients drinking beer (N=133) showed a significant relation between consumed amount in litres and craving (Spearman-Rho 0.302; p<0.001). For patients with wine consumption (N=49; r=0.239; p=0.097) and consumption of spirits (N=86; r=0.100; p=0.362) we did not find a significant relation.

Conclusion: The amount of beer consumption determines the extent of craving. For other drinks like wine and spirits no significant relations between quantity and craving were observed. Therefore we would recommend that anticraving strategies (i.e. drug administration) should be established especially in those patients with alcoholism and preferred beer consumption.