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Treatments for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

The type of treatment you receive depends on the severity of your alcoholism and the resources that are available in your community. Treatment may be on an inpatient or outpatient basis and may include:

  • Detoxification (the process of safely getting alcohol out of your system)
  • Taking prescribed medications to help prevent a return (or relapse) to drinking once drinking has stopped
  • Individual and/or group counseling
  • Support for family members
  • Referral to community resources, including support groups

Treatment involves the following:

Lifestyle changes
Medications
Other treatments

There are no surgical treatments indicated for the treatment of alcoholism.

References:

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/.

Kleber HD, Weiss RD, Anton RF Jr, et al. Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Substance Use Disorders. 2nd ed. American Psychiatric Association website. Available at: http://www.psych.org/psych_pract/treatg/pg/SUD2ePG_04-28-06.pdf. Accessed April 14, 2007.



Last reviewed April 2007 by Janet Greenhut, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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