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Health Information

Treatments for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

The type of treatment you receive depends on the severity of your alcoholism and the resources that are available in your community. Treatment may be on an inpatient or outpatient basis and may include:

  • Detoxification (the process of safely getting alcohol out of your system)
  • Prescribed medications to help prevent a return (or relapse) to drinking once drinking has stopped
  • Individual and/or group counseling
  • Support for family members
  • Referral to community resources, including support group

Treatment involves the following:

Lifestyle changesMedicationsOther treatments

There are no surgical treatments indicated for the treatment of alcoholism.

Revision Information

  • Huebner R. Advances in Alcoholism Treatment. Alcohol Research & Health. 2011;33:295-299.

  • Kleber HD, Weiss RD, et al. Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Substance Use Disorders. 2nd ed. American Psychiatric Association website. Available at: http://www.psych.org/psych%5Fpract/treatg/pg/SUD2ePG%5F04-28-06.pdf. Accessed April 14, 2007.

  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/. Accessed March 27, 2009.