Alcohol is the most frequently abused drug in Germany. Approximately 50.000 individuals die annually due to alcohol-related disorders. Emergency situations due to alcohol intoxications, abuse or dependence are frequent reasons for calls for emergency physicians and paramedics. Agitation, suicidal intent, trauma and a multitude of degenerative and other somatic disorders may further complicate diagnosis and treatment on scene. The motivation of patients to participate in withdrawal programs should be built and strengthened already in emergency medicine.