Treatment of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism: How To Stop Drinking

Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. There’s some evidence that acupuncture, mindfulness, and meditation help during AUD treatment. Some herbal remedies, including kudzu, ashwagandha, and milk thistle, could support your recovery, too. It’s important to seek AUD treatment only from a qualified healthcare professional or facility. Some studies report that mindfulness led to better outcomes than 12-step programs only. They train you to be aware of your thoughts, feelings, and cravings rather than simply reacting to them.

alcohol addiction treatment

Alcohol, the most commonly used addictive substance, can cause irreversible harm if you drink in excess. Online tools and apps provide a virtual community and reduce social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. “You want to use a benzodiazepine that is not too long-acting or too short-acting. They can be tapered down slowly until the danger is past,” Weaver explains.

Therapy and behavioral modification

Recovering from alcohol addiction or heavy drinking is not a quick and easy process. In general, the longer and more intense the alcohol use, the longer and more intense the treatment you’ll need.

Therapy is useful to help teach someone how to manage the stress of recovery and the skills needed to prevent a relapse. Also, a healthy diet can help undo damage alcohol may have done to the person’s health, like weight gain or loss. This is an alcohol-sensitizing drug that works by making you sick when you consume alcohol.

Continued Care

Throughout the country, alcohol treatment centers are staffed with professionals who will guide you through each step of the recovery process – from detox to life after rehab. Think of them as your 24/7 support system who are there to celebrate your successes and work with you through any challenges. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is another type of evidence-based talk therapy.

  • These complications are reasons why it’s important to treat alcohol addiction early.
  • Find health information and resources for people who are new to Vermont from other countries, cultures and languages.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs provide peer support for people quitting or cutting back on their drinking.
  • Recovering from alcohol addiction or abuse is much easier when you have people you can lean on for encouragement, comfort, and guidance.

You may be given medication to make the process easier, but this is done on a case-by-case basis with the guidance of detox professionals. Not all primary care doctors are familiar with medications to treat alcohol alcoholism addiction. Here are the options to talk about with your doctor for withdrawal and long-term sobriety. Going cold turkey without the right medication can lead to life-threatening withdrawal reactions.

How is alcohol use disorder treated?

External support groups include Alcoholics Anonymous , which originated the 12-step program and now has approximately 2 million members. The 12 steps emphasize the participant’s ability to submit to a “higher power” to ask for help. The higher power doesn’t have to be rooted in religion, though that is the case for many. After rehab, the best thing you can do to overcome your alcohol addiction is to find support for ongoing recovery. Whether you seek out the company of other recovering addicts or find support in your personal networks, it is imperative that you share your struggles with other people. With regard to alcoholism, BAC is useful to judge alcohol tolerance, which in turn is a sign of alcoholism. Electrolyte and acid-base abnormalities including hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, hyponatremia, hyperuricemia, metabolic acidosis, and respiratory alkalosis are common in people with alcohol use disorders.

alcohol addiction treatment

Alcoholics may also require treatment for other psychotropic drug addictions and drug dependencies. Benzodiazepines may be used legally, if they are prescribed by doctors for anxiety problems or other mood disorders, or they may be purchased as illegal drugs.

Relapse Is Part of the Process

This class of drugs is commonly prescribed to alcoholics for insomnia or anxiety management. Those who are long-term users of benzodiazepines should not be withdrawn rapidly, as severe anxiety and panic may develop, which are known risk factors for alcohol use disorder relapse. Taper regimes of 6–12 months have been found to be the most successful, with reduced intensity of withdrawal.

alcohol addiction treatment

Write your drinking goal down and keep it where you will frequently see it, such as on your phone or taped to your refrigerator. Let friends, family members, and co-workers know that you’re trying to stop or cut back on drinking.