Treating Alcoholism

Most treatment methods are based on the concept that alcoholism is a disease-physical, psychological, or both.  The goal of treatment is to break the alcoholic’s dependency on alcohol, and to remove the compulsive need to drink.  All treatment programs strive to restore adequate strength for the person to cope with life without the help of alcohol.  The earlier treatment is obtained, the greater the chances for recovery.

Short-term services to help break the alcohol habit include: detoxification, physical & psychological evaluation, and brief (10 days to 2 weeks) intensive hospital treatment programs that use individual, group, and family therapy as well as alcoholism counseling and education.

Long-term services to control addiction may include psychotherapy, medical care, drug therapy and self-help/support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.  Alcoholism treatment experts agree that AA is essential in maintaining sobriety.  AA now includes Al-Anon groups for spouses and adult family members of alcoholics; Ala-teen for children 11-21 yrs old; Ala-tot for younger children; and ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) groups.

Other sources of help include the National Council on Alcoholism (733 Third Ave., NY 10017) which sponsors Alcohol Information Centers in cities and the Nat’l Clearinghouse for Alcohol Info. (Box 2345, Rockville, MD 20852).

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