Treatment for alcohol
dependence usually includes group therapy, one or more
counseling, and alcohol education. You also may need
12-step program often is part of treatment and
continues after treatment ends.
Treatment doesn't just deal with
alcohol. It will help you manage problems in your daily life so you don't have
to depend on alcohol. You'll learn
good reasons to quit drinking.
Treatment helps you overcome
dependence, but it doesn't happen all at once.
Recovery from alcohol abuse or dependence—staying
sober—is a lifelong process that takes commitment and effort.
Can you quit on your own?
If you are abusing
alcohol and are not dependent on it, you may be able to
cut back or quit on your own. But most people need help when they quit
Alcohol Problems: How to Stop Drinking
If you want to quit, talk to your doctor. When you get a doctor's help, treatment for
alcohol abuse or dependence is safer, less painful, and quicker. If you can't stop drinking alcohol with just your doctor's help, a
treatment program can help you get through the first cravings for alcohol and
learn how to stay sober.
How does treatment start?
You might start treatment with
your family doctor, or your doctor may recommend that you enter a treatment
facility. A friend may bring you to a self-help group, such as Alcoholics
Anonymous, or you might go to a clinic that deals with alcohol abuse. You may
just decide that you drink too much and want to cut back or quit on your own.
You may have a treatment team to help you. This team may include a
psychiatrist, counselors, doctors,
social workers, nurses, and a case manager. A case
manager helps plan and manage your treatment.
When you first seek
treatment, you may be asked questions about your drinking, health problems,
work, and living situation. Be open and honest to get the best treatment
possible. Your treatment team may write a treatment plan, which includes your
treatment goals and ways to reach those goals. This helps you stay on track.
Do you need detox?
Your doctor may decide you need
detoxification, or detox, before you start treatment.
You need detox when you are
physically addicted to alcohol. This means that when you stop
drinking, you have physical
withdrawal symptoms, such as feeling sick to your
stomach or intense anxiety.
Detox helps get you ready for
treatment. It doesn't help you with the mental, social, and behavior changes
you have to make to get and stay sober.
Whether you need detox
and whether you can go through it at home or need to go to a clinic or other
facility depends on how severe your withdrawal symptoms are. Most people don't
need to stay at a clinic but do need to check in with a doctor or other health
professional. Whether you need to spend time in a clinic (called inpatient
care) also depends on other problems you may have, such as a mental health
Your doctor may give you medicines to help reduce