Alcohol use disorder in the COVID-19 era: Position paper of the Italian Society on Alcohol (SIA)

Gianni Testino, Teo Vignoli, Valentino Patussi, Pierluigi Allosio, Maria Francesca Amendola, Sarino Aricò, Aniello Baselice, Patrizia Balbinot, Vito Campanile, Tiziana Fanucchi, Livia Macciò, Cristina Meneguzzi, Davide Mioni, Michele Parisi, Doda Renzetti, Raffaella Rossin, Claudia Gandin, Luigi Carlo Bottaro, Giacomo Caio, Lisa LungaroGiorgio Zoli, Emanuele Scafato, Fabio Caputo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) first emerged in China in November 2019. Most governments have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by imposing a lockdown. Some evidence suggests that a period of isolation might have led to a spike in alcohol misuse, and in the case of patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD), social isolation can favour lapse and relapse. The aim of our position paper is to provide specialists in the alcohol addiction field, in psychopharmacology, gastroenterology and in internal medicine, with appropriate tools to better manage patients with AUD and COVID-19,considering some important topics: (a) the susceptibility of AUD patients to infection; (b) the pharmacological interaction between medications used to treat AUD and to treat COVID-19; (c) the reorganization of the Centre for Alcohol Addiction Treatment for the management of AUD patients in the COVID-19 era (group activities, telemedicine, outpatients treatment, alcohol-related liver disease and liver transplantation, collecting samples); (d) AUD and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Telemedicine/telehealth will undoubtedly be useful/practical tools even though it remains at an elementary level; the contribution of the family and of caregivers in the management of AUD patients will play a significant role; the multidisciplinary intervention involving experts in the treatment of AUD with specialists in the treatment of COVID-19 disease will need implementation. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly leading addiction specialists towards a new governance scenario of AUD, which necessarily needs an in-depth reconsideration, focusing attention on a safe approach in combination with the efficacy of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAddiction Biology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • alcohol use disorder
  • COVID-19 infection
  • drug interactions
  • infections
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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