Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
There are many options for AUD treatment. The type of treatment depends on individual needs and severity of AUD. The most important step is recognizing that a problem exists. Denial about amount of alcohol that is consumed and the effect on life is common.
There is no cure for AUD, treatment is aimed at managing the disease. A combination of medical, social, psychological, and behavioral approaches is often most effective. Most professionals also believe management means giving up alcohol completely and permanently. Relapse is common and part of the process, especially during times of stress.
Medical support may also be needed to safely manage withdraw from alcohol. This could require hospitalization in a detoxification center. If you have any underlying conditions with or caused by AUD, they will need to be managed as well.
The healthcare team is often made up of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, and other health professionals. It is important to maintain contact with the healthcare team and adhere to recommended treatment to help maintain sobriety.
Treatment for AUD involves the following:
Lifestyle changesMedicationsOther treatments
Support and counseling is also available for family and friends of those with AUD. The counseling can provide support for those with loved ones who are in denial and education to help support those that are recovering.
Alcohol abuse treatment and self-help. Help Guide website. Available at: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/alcohol-addiction-treatment-and-self-help.htm. Updated February 2015. Accessed April 10, 2015.
Alcohol use disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115540/Alcohol-use-disorder. Updated October 23, 2015. Accessed September 30, 2016.
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114807/Alcohol-withdrawal-syndrome. Updated April 29, 2016. Accessed September 30, 2016.
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Help Guide website. Available at: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/alcoholism-and-alcohol-abuse.htm. Updated February 2015. Accessed April 10, 2015.
Huebner R. Advances in alcoholism treatment.
Alcohol Research and Health. 2011;33:295-299.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board
Adrian Preda, MD
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