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Substance Abuse and Addiction Health Center

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When Alcohol Becomes a Problem

Alcoholism

Getting Help

The treatment of AUDs requires a thorough medical and psychological assessment. Concurrent physical disorders, vitamin deficiencies and potential psychiatric problems must be addressed. In some cases, a mood stabilizer or antidepressant may be part of the overall treatment plan. The medication naltrexone (ReVia) may help reduce the urge to drink and enhance abstinence in some patients but should be used in concert with psychotherapy or a twelve-step program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

A few studies support the use of disulfiram (Antabuse), a medication that induces nausea and other unpleasant reactions if the individual drinks. For families who must deal with a loved one's AUD, Al-Anon and similar support groups for families can be helpful. The key to success is helping the individual accept the need for help and insisting that he or she gets it.

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