Alcohol Abuse and Dependence - Treatment Overview
Your doctor may give you medicines to help reduce
withdrawal symptoms. To learn more, see Medications.
What's the best treatment program for you?
Your doctor can help you decide which type of program is best
outpatient treatment, you regularly go to a mental
health clinic, counselor's office, hospital clinic, or local health department
inpatient treatment, you stay at a facility and have
treatment during the day or evening. This usually lasts 1 to 6 weeks. You most
likely will then go to outpatient treatment.
- In residential treatment, you live at the facility
while you recover. These programs may last for months. This may be a good option if you have a long history of
alcohol or drug use, have a bad home situation, or don't have social support.
If you are thinking about going into a treatment program,
here are some
questions to ask.
What does a treatment program include?
programs usually include
counseling, such as:
Individual and group therapy, where you talk about your
recovery with a counselor or with other people who are trying to quit. You can
get support from others who have struggled with alcohol.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), where you learn to
change thoughts and actions that make you more likely to use alcohol. A
counselor teaches you ways to deal with cravings and avoid going back to
Motivational interviewing (MI), where you resolve
mixed feelings about quitting and getting treatment. A counselor helps you find
personal motivation to change.
Motivational enhancement therapy (MET), which uses
motivational interviewing to help you find motivation to quit. It usually lasts
for 2 to 4 sessions.
Brief intervention therapy, which provides feedback,
advice, and goal-setting in very short counseling sessions.
family therapy, which can help you become and stay
sober and keep good relationships within your family.
A treatment program may include medicines that can help
keep you sober during recovery. You may take medicine that can help reduce your craving for alcohol or that makes you sick to your stomach when you drink. To learn more about the medicines you may need, see Medications.
Most programs provide education about alcohol abuse and
dependence. Understanding alcohol problems can help you and your family know
how to overcome them. Some programs also offer job or career training.
Treatment programs often include going to a support group, such as
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Your family members also
might want to attend a support group such as
Al-Anon or Alateen.
What else should you think about?
- If you have an alcohol problem and a mental
health problem, such as depression, you will need treatment for both problems.
Doctors call this a
- Alcohol generally affects older adults more strongly than younger adults.
Alcohol abuse in the military can interfere with
- Some people are sent to alcohol treatment because of a court
decision. This may happen if you have an alcohol problem and you commit a
crime. A court may require treatment and keep track of your progress. Treatment
often is available in prison.