Thinking About Drinking: Tips & Tools

Getting Professional Help

While it is true that many people are able to quit drinking on their own, many people are best served with the help of professionals, people whose job it is to help folks quit drinking or other addictions. Recovery from alcohol dependency is a long-term process, and people often find that they need to try several times before they finally quit drinking. Because of this, having someone in your corner who has plenty of experience helping people get through the challenges of quitting drinking is not only helpful but also very smart.

First, a couple of things should be said about treatment for alcohol abuse or dependency:

  • First things first: Talk with your doctor or primary health care provider! Treatment for alcohol dependency can be complicated, as the withdrawal effects can be potentially life-threatening if not dealt with appropriately. Your doctor will be able to talk with you about the different treatment options that you have, and will help sort out the safest, most productive way for you to tackle this challenge.
  • There is no single treatment that works for every person. It’s up to you to give different options a try and see what works for you.
  • That said, counseling and other behavioral therapies are important components of virtually all effective treatments for addiction.
  • The most effective treatment will help you with both your drinking issues and any other concerns you have at the same time. So, for example, some people who are heavy drinkers are also depressed; treatment for these folks will not only deal with the drinking problems but also with the depression. Otherwise, if only the drinking was addressed, the person would just end up sober but depressed, which sets that person up for relapse.
  • It’s important to stay in treatment long enough for it to be effective.
  • Your treatment plan should be assessed often and modified as necessary to meet your changing needs.

There are really three different areas of treatment that you will want to know something about as you consider your options: medications, detox & rehab, as well as counseling.  Feel free to explore these different treatment types by moving through the next sections starting with medications.  

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