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Getting Help

If you or a loved one is showing signs of alcohol abuse, the first step in getting help is to talk with your healthcare provider. He or she can give you advice about your health, drinking, and treatment options. Your local health department or social services agencies can also help.
Many types of treatments are available. Some, such as 12-step help programs, have been around for a long time. Others include:
  • Removing alcohol from the body (detoxification)
  • Taking prescription medicines to help prevent a return to drinking once you have stopped
  • Seeking individual and/or group counseling.
Newer programs teach people who have drinking problems to identify which situations or feelings trigger the urge to drink, as well as ways to cope without alcohol. Because the support of family members is important, many programs also counsel married couples and family members as part of the treatment process. Programs may also link individuals with important community resources.
Research scientists continue to study alcohol's effects on people and to look for new ways to treat alcoholism. This research will increase the chance for recovery and improve the lives of problem drinkers.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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