When Alcohol Becomes a Problem
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.