Counseling is used in behavioral treatments to try to change a person’s drinking habits. They’re led by medical professionals and backed by research that suggests they may be helpful.
At this time in the United States, three medications have been approved to help people stop or reduce their drinking and avoid a relapse. In some cases, they may be prescribed by a general practitioner or other health care provider in addition to counseling. (follow Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program)
Peer support is available through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs for those who are trying to quit or reduce their alcohol consumption. Mutual-support groups, when used in conjunction with professional medical treatment, can be an invaluable asset.
Researchers cannot compare the success rates of self-help groups led by health professionals with those of mutual-support groups because of the anonymity of the latter.
Starting With a Primary Care Doctor
An important first step for anyone contemplating treatment is to consult with a primary care physician, who can serve as a valuable resource for treatment recommendations and medications. In addition, a primary care physician is capable of the following:
- Evaluate a patient’s drinking pattern
- Help craft a treatment plan
- Evaluate overall health
- Assess if medications for alcohol may be appropriate
Individuals are advised to talk to their doctors about the best form of primary treatment.
An alcohol counselling is a term that refers to treatments in which patients work closely with a health professional to identify and correct unhealthy drinking habits Certain characteristics of behavioural treatments are shared, and these include:
acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to cut back on or completely eliminate alcohol consumption
assisting in the development of a solid network of social support
attempting to set and achieve realistic goals
Managing or avoiding situations that could lead to a relapse