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Does seeing a counselor or therapist help with alcohol use disorder?

ANSWER

With alcohol use disorder, controlling your drinking is only part of the answer. You also need to learn new skills and strategies to use in everyday life. Psychologists, social workers, or alcohol counselors can teach you how to:

Some people just need a short, focused counseling session. Others may want one-on-one therapy for a longer time to deal with issues like anxiety or depression. Alcohol use can have a big effect on the people close to you, so couples or family therapy can help, too.

  • Change the behaviors that make you want to drink
  • Deal with stress and other triggers
  • Build a strong support system
  • Set goals and reach them

SOURCES:


National Institute on Drug Abuse: “Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide.”

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: “Alcohol Use Disorder: A Comparison Between DSM–IV and DSM–5,” “Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help,” “Alcohol Use Disorder.”

National Institutes of Health : “Biology of Addiction.” NIH News in Health

Alcohol Rehab Guide: “Treating Alcoholism.”

Mayo Clinic: “Alcohol Use Disorder,” “Support Groups: Make Connections, Get Help.”

UpToDate: “Patient education: Alcohol use -- when is drinking a problem? (Beyond the Basics).”

Harvard Health Publications: “Alcohol Withdrawal.”

Recovery.org: “Aftercare Programs for People in Addiction Recovery.”

American Psychological Association: “Psychotherapy: Understanding Group Therapy.”

Medscape: “Alcoholism Treatment & Management.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on August 05, 2017

SOURCES:


National Institute on Drug Abuse: “Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide.”

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: “Alcohol Use Disorder: A Comparison Between DSM–IV and DSM–5,” “Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help,” “Alcohol Use Disorder.”

National Institutes of Health : “Biology of Addiction.” NIH News in Health

Alcohol Rehab Guide: “Treating Alcoholism.”

Mayo Clinic: “Alcohol Use Disorder,” “Support Groups: Make Connections, Get Help.”

UpToDate: “Patient education: Alcohol use -- when is drinking a problem? (Beyond the Basics).”

Harvard Health Publications: “Alcohol Withdrawal.”

Recovery.org: “Aftercare Programs for People in Addiction Recovery.”

American Psychological Association: “Psychotherapy: Understanding Group Therapy.”

Medscape: “Alcoholism Treatment & Management.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on August 05, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

Does medication help with alcohol use disorder?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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