PGI Chandigarh gets alcohol use disorder clinic for liver ailments

Chandigarh: With an aim to prevent alcohol-induced liver diseases, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI Chandigarh) has launched an alcohol use disorder (AUD) clinic on World Liver Day, observed on April 19 every year through a collaboration between the Department of Hepatology and the Department of Psychiatry within the institute.

The clinic, inaugurated on Monday, has been established as part of a de-addiction outreach programme to prevent alcohol-associated liver disease and hepatitis B and C infections. The clinic would remain open on Mondays and Fridays in the New OPD complex. 

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The clinic would be counselling patients with alcohol-related liver disease and chronic viral hepatitis due to intravenous drug abuse within the liver clinic and would additionally provide medications or refer them to the main de-addiction centre run by the Department of Psychiatry as per the needs. 

The Department of Hepatology has pointed out the need for an integrated AUD clinic and care de-addiction services. Patients suffering from alcohol-related liver disease and chronic viral hepatitis due to intravenous drug abuse would be able to seek help and counselling at the clinic. In addition to counselling, the clinic would also offer medication and referrals to the de-addiction centre run by the Department of Psychiatry. 

Speaking to Tribune India, Prof Vivek Lal, PGI Director, said, “With the rapidly increasing incidence of liver diseases, including those related to alcohol, viral hepatitis, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the new clinic is a welcome addition to PGI’s services. It is hoped the clinic will not only help patients in their recovery but also prevent the onset of alcohol-related liver disease and hepatitis B and C infections.” 

World Liver Day is observed to raise awareness about liver-related issues and to educate people on the severity, early detection, and prevention of liver diseases. Some of the common causes of chronic liver diseases are non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcohol-associated liver disease, and chronic viral hepatitis. The theme of this year was ‘Be Vigilant, Do Regular Liver Check-Up, Fatty Liver Can Affect Anyone’. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Hepatology also conducted other activities on World Liver Day. A liver health wellness programme, which includes screening using Fibroscan and blood sampling for viral markers, was conducted for the PGI faculty. Fibriscan, a non-invasive test that assesses liver fat and fibrosis, is used to identify non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcohol-related liver disease, and viral hepatitis at an early stage. 

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