Alcohol Awareness, Part 5: What Resources and Treatments are Available?
Changing habits like drinking too much can take a lot of effort, and you may not succeed with the first try. Setbacks are common, but each try brings you closer to your goal to cut down drinking or quit altogether. People who have become dependent on alcohol may find it difficult to successfully achieve their goal without some support. Numerous support resources and several proven treatment approaches are available. To help start making a decision about which approach is right for you, see choose your approach from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
When it comes to treating Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. It’s a good idea to do some research to find approaches that will work best for you. You can learn a lot more about different approaches in Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help. This guide is written for individuals, and their family and friends, who are looking for approaches to address alcohol problems. Additionally, the NIAAA recently launched an online tool to help individuals, through a step-by-step approach, find a highly qualified professional treatment provider. The guide and tool are valuable resources for understanding what treatment approaches are available and what to consider when selecting among them.
As with any drug addiction, AUD can be treated, but it’s not simple. The good news is that no matter how severe the problem may seem, most people with AUD can benefit from some form of treatment. Thanks to significant advances in research, there are a variety of treatment approaches currently available. The types of treatments for AUD include:
These are aimed at changing drinking behavior through counseling.
They are led by trained healthcare professionals and supported by studies showing they can be beneficial.
Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) provide peer support for people quitting or cutting back on their drinking.
Combined with behavioral treatments, they can offer a valuable added layer of support that is often needed for treating AUD.
Three medications – acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone – are currently approved in the United States to help people cut down drinking or quit altogether as well as to prevent relapse (or a return to alcohol use).
Although not all people will respond to medications, they can be an important approach for overcoming alcohol dependence, but they must be prescribed and monitored by a primary care physician or other healthcare professional.
Whether you’re just starting to take a look at your drinking or have already decided to cut back or quit, there are many resources available to help you. Change can be hard, so it helps to discuss different treatment approaches with a doctor and to have the support of your family and friends. As noted in a previous blog, whatever change approaches you choose, given them a fair trial. If one approach doesn’t work, try something else. If a setback happens, get back on track as quickly as possible. In the long run, your chances for success are good.
Share because you care! Share this blog with your family members and friends. Let us (Biophilia Partners) know what treatment approaches work best for you. Comment below.