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Substance Abuse and Addiction Health Center

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Alcohol and Drug Problems - Home Treatment

If you are concerned about your own or another person's alcohol or drug use, learn what steps to take to help yourself or someone else.

  • Never ignore the problem.
  • Know the signs of substance abuse.
  • Make an appointment with a doctor to discuss it as a medical problem.
  • Find out when support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), meet. These self-help groups help members get sober and stay that way. Call Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous for the times of scheduled meetings.
  • Ask another person if he or she would accept help. Don't give up after the first "no"-keep asking. If he or she agrees, act that very day to arrange for help. If you are supporting another person, attend a few meetings of Al-Anon, a support group for family members and friends of alcoholics. Read some 12-step program information.
  • Provide support for another person during detoxification or other treatment.
  • Help set up community services in the home, if needed. Older adults may benefit from such community services as home care, nutritional programs, transportation programs, and other services.
  • Help with decision-making. Many people with substance abuse problems are unable to process information or effectively communicate their decisions.
  • Check out what services are available in your area.
    • Discuss the need for a referral to your employee assistance program with your human resources department, if you have the service available.
    • If you are supporting a teen, go to the website for information about teen drug treatment programs across the United States.
    • Contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) online at for information about treatment programs in your area.

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

Call your doctor to evaluate your symptoms if your alcohol or drug problem becomes more frequent or severe.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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