Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

How to Treat Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is not something you should take lightly. It’s a severe condition that can be detrimental to your health. There are a lot of risks and health complications when a person suffers from alcohol addiction. While there are available treatments, it could be extra challenging for a person who suffers from alcohol addiction to start the process.

Alcoholism, commonly known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), appeals to the brain’s pleasure centres, as do other addictions. When you drink alcohol frequently, your brain starts to associate it with feelings like exhilaration, relaxation, and a lack of inhibitions—cravings and, in some situations, dependency results.

When asked how alcoholism is handled, most people think of 12-step programs or 28-day inpatient rehab, but they may struggle to develop other possibilities. In reality, several therapy options are now available because of considerable advancements in the profession over the last 60 years. Finally, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and what works for one individual may not work for another. Simply comprehending the various alternatives can be a crucial initial step.

Types of Alcohol Addiction Treatments

Behavioural treatments

Counselling is used in behavioural therapy to help people change their drinking habits. They’re led by health professionals and backed up by research that shows they’re beneficial.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy or CBT has been founded on the premise that a person’s thoughts, not external inputs such as people, situations, or events, drive feelings and behaviours. While patients may not be able to change their circumstances abruptly, they can find a way to alter their perspective on them. This, according to cognitive-behavioural therapists, aids in changing the patient’s feelings and behaviours.

CBT can assist a person in the following ways in the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction:

  • Improve self-control
  • Recognize situations
  • Avoid trigging circumstances, as much as possible
  • Develop coping strategies. Developing these techniques will help when the patients are faced with situations that trigger cravings
  • Cope with other problems. Some of these are contributors to addiction.



In the United States, three drugs have been licensed to assist people in stopping or limiting their drinking and avoiding relapse. They are given by a primary care physician or another health care provider and can be taken alone or in conjunction with counselling. According to Gerard Schmidt, “Medications are the beginning of how you achieve the psychological transformation that needs to occur.” Others may only need to take the medication-assisted treatment when they know that they will be provoked to drink. For instance, if someone regularly relapses around the holidays or on the anniversary of a loved one’s death, Schmidt says they and their doctor can opt to take it at that time.


Support Groups

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step organizations offer peer support to persons who are quitting or reducing their alcohol consumption. When combined with professional treatment, mutual-support groups can provide a valuable additional layer of support. Support groups and alcohol addiction rehabilitation organizations can be pretty beneficial. These organizations can assist persons in recovery by avoiding relapses, dealing with the obstacles of sobriety, and providing support to family and friends.

However, because mutual support groups are conducted anonymously, researchers find it difficult to compare their success rates to those led by health professionals.



After you stop drinking alcohol, many treatment plans begin with a detoxification program to help you deal with withdrawal symptoms after you stop drinking.

Detoxification is frequently carried out at an inpatient treatment centre or a medical facility. To complete the project usually takes one week. Because the symptoms of physical withdrawal might be life-threatening, you may also be prescribed drugs to assist in preventing the following symptoms:

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Tachycardia
  • Vomiting


Personalized Treatment

Individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD) would benefit from health professionals’ ability to determine which AUD treatment is most beneficial. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAAA) and other organizations are researching to find genes and other characteristics that can predict how well someone will respond to a specific medication. These advancements can improve the efficiency with which treatment decisions are made in the future.

Starting Treatment

Contact someone you trust

The majority of people have at least one person in their lives with whom they feel comfortable talking about anything. If you have someone like this, you should turn to them. Even if they have no personal experience with addiction, they may provide a listening ear and can assist you in making sense of what is happening to you. It is reassuring to know that you have someone on your side who will be there for you through the difficult times of life.

Look for an ally

The only person who can provide better counsel is someone who has gone through a similar battle to yours and has come out the other side. These individuals are frequently more than happy to speak with you and attempt to comprehend your point of view. They are likely to have experienced what you are going through and will do everything they can to alleviate your anxieties. You can find out what worked for them and figure out if the same line of action will be effective for you by asking them questions.


You may find a wealth of information on the internet, including phone numbers for hotlines, chat rooms, and websites for treatment centres. A simple Google search will almost certainly yield a plethora of results. Occasionally, it’s more comfortable admitting to struggling from the protection of a computer screen rather than face-to-face with someone, which is entirely acceptable. In addition, some people find it beneficial to speak with a stranger first before speaking with someone they are already acquainted with. There is less fear of being judged in this manner. When you contact someone online or by phone, they will be able to guide you through determining the best subsequent actions for you based on your specific situation. Of course, it is your responsibility to take those steps. To help you in your journey, we recommend reaching out to Gloria Rehab at (818) 659-9444 as their addiction treatment specialists can help you in your journey to recovery.

Visit website to learn more.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch: