Treating Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help (2023)

When is the time for treatment?

Alcohol-related problems—those caused by drinking too much, too fast, or too often—are among the leading public health problems in the United States.

Many people struggle to control their drinking at some point in their lives. More than14 million adults 18 years and older have an alcohol use disorder (AUD),and 1 in 10 children live in a home with a parent who has a drinking problem.

Does the treatment work?

The good news is that no matter how serious the problem seems, most people with AUD can benefit from some type of treatment.

Research shows that about a third of people treated for alcohol problems no longer have symptoms after one year. Many others significantly reduce their alcohol intake and report fewer alcohol-related problems.

Signs of a drinking problem

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)it is a condition that doctors diagnose when drinking causes distress or harm to a patient. The condition can range from mild to severe and is diagnosed when a patient answers "yes" to two or more of the following questions.

In the past year have you:

  • There were times when you ended up drinkingmore or moreWhat were you up to?

  • I wanted more than oncereduce or stop drinking, or tried but failed?

  • passed aa long timeTo drink? Or get sick or overcome the consequences?

  • ExperienceDemand– a strong need or desire to drink?

  • I found out I drink often, or get sick from drinkingintervened in the careof youheimoFamily? the causedWorkproblems? OSchoolProblems?

  • I kept drinking even though I was the causeProblemwith hisFamilyoFriends?

  • SurrenderopruningOneActivitiesWhat were important or interesting to you or what did you like to drink?

  • More than once he was involved in situations during or after drinking thisincreases the risk of injury(for example, driving, swimming, operating machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unprotected sex)?

  • You kept drinking even though you wanted todepressed or anxiousthe supplementother health problem? or after amemory failure?

  • tivodrink much moreof what you ever didtake effectWant? Or she found herregular numberdrankmuch less effectas previously?

  • He discovered that when the effects of alcohol wear off, onehad withdrawal symptomssuch as trouble sleeping, tremors, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or did you feel things that weren't there?

If you have any of these symptoms, your alcohol use may already be cause for concern. The more symptoms you have, the more urgent the need for change becomes. A doctor can perform a formal evaluation of your symptoms to determine if AUD is present. You can find an online assessment of your spending behavior atRethink

treatment options

When asked how alcohol problems are treated, people often think of 12-step programs or 28-day inpatient rehab, but may have trouble finding other options. Thanks to significant advances in this field over the past 60 years, a variety of treatment methods are now available.

(Video) How to Help Someone with an Alcohol Addiction | Akhil Anand, MD

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and what may work for one person may not work for another. Just understanding the different options can be an important first step.

types of treatment

behavioral treatments

Behavioral therapies aim to change drinking behavior through counselling. They are performed by health professionals and backed by studies that show they can be beneficial.


Currently, three drugs are approved in the United States to help people stop or reduce alcohol use and prevent relapse. They are prescribed by a GP or other healthcare professional and can be used alone or in combination with an appointment.

mutual support groups

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs provide peer support for people who quit or reduce alcohol use. When combined with healthcare-directed treatment, support groups can provide a valuable additional layer of support.

Due to the anonymity of support groups, it is difficult for researchers to determine their success rates compared to those run by health professionals.

Start with a family doctor

For anyone considering treatment, speaking with a GP is an important first step; he or she can be a good source of treatment and medication recommendations. A GP can also:

  • Evaluate a patient's drinking behavior

  • Help create a treatment plan

  • Assess overall health

  • Evaluate if anti-alcohol medication is appropriate

People are advised to talk to their doctor about the best form of initial treatment.

Types of professionals involved in care

Many health professionals can play a role in treatment. Below is a list of providers and the type of care they can provide.

provider typeDiplomas and Certificatestype of treatment

first aid provider

MD, DO(Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine), can alsoNurseomedical assistants

Medications, short course of behavioral therapy, referral to a specialist



medication, behavioral therapy


Ph.D., Psy.D., MA

behavioral treatment

Social assistant

M.S.W.(Master in Social Work),L.C.S.W.(Certified Clinical Social Worker)

behavioral treatment

alcohol consultant

Varies – most states require some form of certification

behavioral treatment

People are advised to talk to their doctor about the best form of initial treatment.

Treatments performed by health professionals

Professionally guided treatments include:



Treating Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help (1)

Some are surprised to learn that there are medications on the market approved to treat alcohol addiction. Newer types of these drugs work by balancing the changes in the brain caused by AUD.

All approved medications are non-addictive and can be used alone or in combination with other forms of treatment. Learn more about itapproved treatments.

behavioral treatments

Also known as alcohol counseling, behavioral treatments involve working with a doctor to identify and change behaviors that lead to binge drinking. Behavioral treatments share certain characteristics that may include:

  • Develop the skills necessary to stop or reduce alcohol consumption.

  • Help build a strong social support system

  • Work to set achievable goals

    (Video) Treating Alcohol Withdrawal | The Advanced EM Boot Camp

  • Treat or avoid triggers that can cause a relapse

Types of behavioral treatments

  • Cognitive Behavioral TherapyIt can be done individually with a therapist or in small groups. This form of therapy focuses on identifying the feelings and situations (called "cues") that lead to excessive drinking and managing stress that can lead to relapse. The aim is to change the thought processes that lead to alcohol abuse and to develop the necessary skills to deal with everyday situations that can trigger problems with alcohol use.

  • motivational enhancement therapyit is carried out over a short period of time to build and strengthen motivation to change drinking behaviour. Therapy focuses on identifying the pros and cons of treatment, creating a plan to make changes in alcohol use, building confidence, and developing the skills necessary to follow the plan.

  • Marriage and family counselingIt involves spouses and other family members in the treatment process and can play an important role in restoring and improving family relationships. Studies show that strong family support through family therapy increases the odds of staying abstinent (stopping drinking) compared to patients receiving individual counseling.

  • short interventionsthese are short, time-limited individual or small group counseling sessions. The counselor provides information about the person's drinking behavior and potential risks. Once the client has received personalized feedback, the advisor will work with the client to set goals and provide ideas on how to help drive change.

Ultimately, the decision to treat may be more important than the approach used, as long as the approach avoids violent confrontation and includes empathy, motivational support, and a focus on changing drinking behavior.

What FDA-approved drugs are available?

Certain medications have been shown to be effective in helping people stop or reduce alcohol use and prevent relapse.

current medications

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three drugs to treat alcohol addiction, and others are being tested to see if they are effective.

  • naltrexonit can help people reduce excessive alcohol consumption.

  • acamprosatefacilitates abstinence maintenance.

  • disulfiramIt blocks the breakdown (metabolism) of alcohol in the body and causes unpleasant symptoms such as nausea and reddening of the skin. These unpleasant effects can help some people avoid drinking while taking disulfiram.

It's important to remember that not everyone responds to medication, but for a subset of people, it can be an important tool in overcoming alcohol addiction.

Scientists are working to develop a broader range of pharmaceutical treatments that can be tailored to individual needs. As more drugs become available, people can try various drugs to see what works best for them.

"Isn't taking medication just trading one addiction for another?"

This is not an uncommon concern, but the short answer is no. All medications approved for the treatment of alcohol dependence are not addictive. These drugs are designed to help treat a chronic disease, just like someone might take drugs to control asthma or diabetes.

Looking ahead: the future of treatment

Progress continues to be made as researchers search for new and better treatments for alcohol-related problems. By studying the underlying causes of AUD in the brain and body, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is working to identify important cellular or molecular structures, called "targets," that could lead to the development of new drugs. .

personalized medicine

Ideally, healthcare professionals would be able to determine which AUD treatment is most effective for the individual. The NIAAA and other organizations conduct research to identify genes and other factors that can predict how well someone will respond to a given treatment. These advances may optimize future treatment decisions.

Current NIAAA Research: Leads to Future Advances

Certain drugs that have already been approved for other uses have shown promise for treating alcohol dependence and alcohol-related problems:

  • The anti-smoking drug varenicline (marketed under the name Chantix) reduced alcohol consumption and cravings for alcohol in people with AUD.

  • Gabapentin, a drug used to treat pain and epilepsy, has been shown to increase withdrawal and reduce binge drinking. Those who took the drug also reported fewer alcohol cravings and improved mood and sleep.

  • The antiepileptic drug topiramate has been shown to help people reduce drinking problems, especially in people with a certain genetic makeup that appears to be related to the effectiveness of treatment.

    (Video) When to get help for alcohol addiction

Tips for choosing treatment

Alcohol treatment professionals will advise you on what to consider when choosing a treatment program.

In general, gather as much information about the program or provider as possible before deciding on treatment. If you know someone who knows the program firsthand, it might be helpful to ask them about their personal experience.

Here are some questions you can ask to make your choice easier:

  • What type of treatment does the program or provider offer?
    It is important to assess whether the facility offers all currently available methods or relies on one approach. You may want to know if the program or provider offers medication and if mental health problems are treated along with addiction treatment.

  • Is the treatment personalized?
    The individual coordination of the correct therapy is decisive for success. No single treatment will benefit everyone. It may also be helpful to determine if treatment will be adjusted to accommodate changing needs as they arise.

  • What is expected of the patient?
    They want to understand what is required of you in order to decide which treatment is best suited to your needs.

  • Is the success of the treatment measured?
    By evaluating if and how the program or provider measures success, you will be better able to compare your options.

  • How does the program or provider handle a relapse?
    Relapses are common, and you want to know how they are managed. For more information on relapse, seeRelapse is part of the process..

When seeking professional help, it is important that you feel respected, understood, and that that person, group, or organization can help you. Keep in mind, however, that developing relationships with doctors, therapists, and other health professionals can take time.

More considerations

Treatment setting: hospitalized or outpatient?

In addition to choosing the type of treatment that is best for you, you must also decide whether treatment is inpatient (you would stay in an institution) or outpatient (you would stay at home during treatment). Inpatient facilities tend to be more intensive and expensive. Your doctor can help you weigh the pros and cons of each.

Cost can be a factor when choosing a treatment approach.Evaluate your health insurance coverage to determine how much your insurance will cover and how much you will have to pay. Ask different programs if they offer different rates; some programs may offer lower rates or payment plans for those without health insurance.

a continuous process

Overcoming an alcohol use disorder is an ongoing process that can involve setbacks.

The importance of persistence

Because AUD can be a chronic, relapsing disease, persistence is key. It is rare that someone goes to treatment once and never drinks again. Most of the time, people have to repeatedly try to stop or slow down, experience the repetition, learn from it, and keep trying. For many, ongoing follow-up with a treatment provider is critical to overcoming alcohol problems.

Relapse is part of the process.

Relapses are common in people who overcome problems with alcohol. People with alcohol problems are more likely to relapse during times of stress or when exposed to people or places associated with previous alcohol use.

Just as some people with diabetes or asthma may have flare-ups of their disease, a relapse into alcohol use may be seen as a temporary setback to full recovery rather than total failure. Seeking professional help can prevent a relapse: Behavioral therapies can help people develop skills to avoid and overcome triggers, such as stress, that can lead to alcohol use. Most people benefit from regular checkups with a treating provider. Medications can also discourage alcohol use at times when there is an increased risk of relapse (eg, divorce, death of a family member).

Mental health problems and alcohol use disorder

Depression and anxiety are often associated with excessive alcohol consumption. Studies show that people addicted to alcohol are two to three times more likely to experience depression or anxiety at some point in their lives. When treating problems with alcohol, it is important to also seek treatment for any associated medical and psychological problems.

Tips for friends and family.

Caring for someone with a drinking problem can be very stressful. It is important that while you are trying to help your loved one, you also find a way to take care of yourself. It may be helpful to seek support from others, including friends, family, the community, and support groups. If you develop your own symptoms of depression or anxiety, consider seeking professional help for yourself. Remember that your loved one is ultimately responsible for managing their illness.

However, your participation can make a big difference.Based on clinical experience, many health professionals believe that the support of friends and family is important in overcoming alcohol-related problems. However, friends and family may not be sure how best to provide the support they need. The family and friend groups listed below may be a good place to start.

Remember that changing deep habits is difficult, takes time, and requires repeated effort.We usually experience mistakes along the way, learn from them, and then move on. AUD is no different. Try to be patient with your loved one. Overcoming this disorder is not easy or fast.

Pay attention to your loved one when they are feeling better or just exerting themselves.We are often so angry or discouraged that we take for granted when things are going better. A word of appreciation or recognition of a success can go a long way.

(Video) How to Help an Alcoholic

Professional Help

you doctorPrimary care physicians and psychiatrists can provide effective treatment for AUD by combining new medications with brief counseling sessions. To help clinicians, the NIAAA has developed a guide for younger patients,Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Adolescents: A Guide for Professionals. This guide and other resources are available at

AUD specialists.Contact your doctor, health insurance company, local health department, or employee assistance program for specific addiction treatment options. Other features are:

Specialists in medical and non-medical addictions

American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry

American Psychological Association
1-800-964-2000 (ask for your state referral number to locate addiction psychologists)

American Society of Addiction Medicine
301-656-3920 (ask for state chapter phone number)

NAADAC, Association of Addiction Specialists

Federation of Social Workers for social workers specializing in addictions)

Treatment plants

Research site for substance use treatment facilities

Support groups

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

moderation management

Säkulare AA

SMART recovery

women for sobriety

Groups for family and friends.

Al-Anon Family Group
1-888-425-2666 for meetings

adult children of alcoholics

information resources

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

National Institute on Substance Abuse

National Institute of Mental Health

Research shows that most people with alcohol problems can cut down or stop drinking completely.

There are many ways to improve. The important thing is that you find yours.

(Video) 2 Ways to Get an Alcoholic into Treatment | Alcoholism

Understanding the treatment options available, from behavioral therapies and medications to support groups, is the first step. The most important thing is that you are committed to the method you choose.

Ultimately, treatment can improve your chances of success.


What are the 7 steps to overcome alcoholism? ›

  • How do I stop drinking?
  • Set goals and prepare for change.
  • Cutting back vs. quitting alcohol altogether.
  • Alcohol addiction treatment options.
  • Withdrawing from alcohol safely.
  • Get support.
  • Find new meaning in life.
  • Plan for triggers and cravings.
Mar 1, 2023

What are four strategies for treating alcoholism? ›

Behavioral Treatments
  • Developing the skills needed to stop or reduce drinking.
  • Helping to build a strong social support system.
  • Working to set reachable goals.
  • Coping with or avoiding the triggers that might cause relapse.

What is the most effective treatment for alcohol dependence? ›

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps to identify feelings and situations that can lead to heavy drinking and teaches coping skills and stress management techniques to change the thoughts that cause a desire to drink.

How can someone help a person with a drinking problem? ›

How To Help Someone You Know Who Drinks Too Much
  • Step 1: Talk. Talk about your worries when the person is sober. ...
  • Step 2: Offer your help. Suggest activities that don't include drinking alcohol. ...
  • Step 3: Take care of yourself. Caring for someone with alcohol misuse or use disorder can be stressful.
4 days ago

What are 3 tips to reduce drinking? ›

Top four tips
  • Set yourself a drink limit and count your drinks. ...
  • Swap to low or no alcohol alternatives. ...
  • Limit how much alcohol you keep in the house. ...
  • Delay that first drink.
Aug 31, 2022

How do I stop drinking on my own? ›

11 ways to curb your drinking
  1. Put it in writing. ...
  2. Set a drinking goal. ...
  3. Keep a diary of your drinking. ...
  4. Don't keep alcohol in your house. ...
  5. Drink slowly. ...
  6. Choose alcohol-free days. ...
  7. Watch for peer pressure. ...
  8. Keep busy.

What are the 4 C's of the addiction cycle? ›

These four factors, compulsion, craving, consequences and control, are unique to addiction alone and are classified as the 4 C's. The behaviors of most addicts are very similar.

What is positive reinforcement for struggling alcoholics? ›

Positive reinforcers are distributed to individuals who participate in treatment and reach milestones in recovery. For example, a person may receive a voucher for groceries after attending therapy regularly for one month, or tickets to a sports game after testing negative on a drug screening.

How many attempts does it take to stop drinking? ›

In a practical sense, this means the number of serious recovery attempts an individual needs varies depending on how severe their circumstances are (e.g., depression, lack of social support, addiction severity). Accordingly, some people need many attempts, but most people need 2 or less.

What medication is used to reduce drinking? ›

Naltrexone is a medicine used to treat alcoholism (addiction to alcohol). It reduces your desire for alcohol. It comes under the brand names ReVia or Vivitrol. After you quit drinking, naltrexone may help you stay sober for a long time.

What is the first line therapy for alcohol dependence? ›

Administration – We begin treatment with acamprosate when abstinence is achieved and, typically, maintain treatment during return to use. The usual dose for acamprosate is 666 mg three times daily.

What is the first step for the treatment of alcoholism? ›

Detoxification is the initial step in treating alcoholism, and it can also be the most difficult. Within the first few days after you quit drinking, you may experience extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Because of this, the alcohol detox stage should only be completed under professional medical care.

What to say to someone who won't stop drinking? ›

Encourage the person to share how they are feeling, and react positively when they share. Acknowledge that what they are going through is difficult. Try to notice when things are going well for them and point this out. Ask the person what kinds of things they would like to do.

What are the 4 types of drinker? ›

There are four types of drinker – which one are you?
  • Social drinking. To date, nearly all the research on drinking motives has been done on teens and young adults. ...
  • Drinking to conform. ...
  • Drinking for enhancement. ...
  • Drinking to cope.

How do you stop drinking when you don't have a problem? ›

Here are some options:
  1. Remind yourself of your reasons for making a change. ...
  2. Talk it through with someone you trust. ...
  3. Distract yourself with a healthy, alternative activity. ...
  4. Challenge the thought that drives the urge. ...
  5. Ride it out without giving in. ...
  6. Leave tempting situations quickly and gracefully.

What is the two drink rule? ›

To reduce the risk of alcohol-related harms, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men or 1 drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed.

What are the first signs of liver damage from alcohol? ›

Generally, symptoms of alcoholic liver disease include abdominal pain and tenderness, dry mouth and increased thirst, fatigue, jaundice (which is yellowing of the skin), loss of appetite, and nausea. Your skin may look abnormally dark or light. Your feet or hands may look red.

What happens to your body when you stop drinking? ›

If you stop drinking completely, one of the first things you notice should be improved energy levels, better sleep and finding it easier to wake up in the morning. Regular drinking can affect the quality of your sleep making you feel tired and sluggish during the day.

What happens on day 4 of no alcohol? ›

However, by day 4 without alcohol, most people will have got beyond any initial withdrawal symptoms. All the alcohol will have left your system by now, and your body will begin to bounce back. If you're not as focused on alcohol, you may be eating better, drinking water, moving more, and perhaps sleeping more deeply.

What can I drink instead of alcohol? ›

What to drink instead of alcohol
  • Soda and fresh lime. Proof that simple is still the best.
  • Berries in iced water. This summery drink will keep you refreshed and revitalised.
  • Kombucha. ...
  • Virgin bloody Mary. ...
  • Virgin Mojito. ...
  • Half soda/half cranberry juice and muddled lime. ...
  • Soda and fresh fruit. ...
  • Mocktails.

What are the 5 P's of addiction? ›

Purpose, Practice, Perseverance, Pray, and Praise—these Five P's, along with other tools you may develop and discover throughout your own journey, can provide a powerful framework for recovery.

What are the three P's in addiction recovery? ›

3 “P's” for Recovery: Passion, Power and Purpose.

What are the 3 R's from addiction to recovery? ›

These three critical stages are: Resentments, Relief, and Relapse Prevention. This is the earliest stage that a recovering individual passes through on the journey of recovery.

What are 4 positive addictions? ›

Positive sleep, eating, drinking and even social habits can be addictions that can help you live a better life each day and even live longer.

What are positive affirmations for alcoholism? ›

15 Positive Affirmations for Addiction Recovery
  • I am the only thing in control of my life.
  • I deserve to be sober.
  • I forgive myself for what I did under the influence.
  • My life is free of drugs.
  • I can look inside myself as a source of joy.
  • I am stronger than temptation.
  • I am proud of myself.
  • I am in control.

Can you reverse the effects of alcohol? ›

However, in most cases, the full extent of the damage produced by chronic and heavy alcohol use on the cardiovascular system is not fully resolved. Typically, any reversal of damage occurs rapidly in the first months to the first year of abstinence and then slows down following that.

Is there a pill for alcoholism? ›

Three medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat alcohol use disorder: acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone. Acamprosate and naltrexone reduce alcohol consumption and increase abstinence rates, although the effects appear to be modest.

How many years do alcoholics lose? ›

Doctors guess that chronic alcohol abuse will lower a person's life expectancy by as many as twelve years. Though many people are aware that alcohol improves the likelihood of liver complications and heart disease, many people do not realize how many other risks alcohol poses.

What are the odds of relapse after 5 years sober? ›

According to a survey of members of AA, 75 percent experience a relapse during their first year of recovery. For those who are sober five years, the rate drops to 7 percent.

How does gabapentin help with alcohol? ›

Through its effects on GABA, gabapentin calms down the brain, which is exactly what is needed for the hyper-aroused state of a newly sober alcoholic (3). This is believed to result in a reduction in anxiety and improve sleep (4, 5), both of which are associated with reduced cravings for alcohol.

Which 3 medications are used to treat alcohol use disorder severe? ›

  • There are 3 FDA-approved medications for.
  • the treatment of AUD:
  • disulfiram, acamprosate, naltrexone.

Can you buy naltrexone over the counter? ›

Can I buy naltrexone online? Yes, but you still need a prescription.

Is alcoholism an actual disease? ›

Most medical professionals agree. The American Medical Association (AMA) classified alcoholism as a disease in 1956 and included addiction as a disease in 1987.

What is the first mental task affected by alcohol? ›

Judgment. The mental faculties are the first to be affected by drinking. Alcohol levels as low as . 02% (well under the legal limit in many states) can lessen the capacity to reason, making it difficult to plan ahead or respond appropriately to one's immediate surroundings.

What do you do when a family member won't stop drinking? ›

How to cope with a family member's problem drinking
  1. Look after your own needs. Family members living with dependent drinkers often neglect themselves. ...
  2. Recognise that harmful drinking affects you too. You may experience violence or financial problems. ...
  3. Keep yourself and others safe from harm.

How do you live with someone who won't stop drinking? ›

Express your concerns in a caring way.

Tell your loved one about the worries you have regarding their drinking and the effects it's having on their health, your relationship, and the family as a whole. Try to remain neutral and be compassionate rather than judge your loved one's behavior or try to shame them.

How do you act around an alcoholic? ›

Dealing With Someone Addicted to Alcohol: 9 Tips To Cope
  1. Don't blame yourself. Caring about someone with an alcohol addiction can lead to worry and sleepless nights. ...
  2. Protect yourself. ...
  3. Talk to someone. ...
  4. Learn to say 'no' ...
  5. Don't cover up bad behavior. ...
  6. Avoid negotiations. ...
  7. Be honest. ...
  8. Limit expectations.
Aug 1, 2022

What are the 5 A's of alcoholism? ›

Clinical guidelines recommend addressing adolescent alcohol use in primary care; the 5 As (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, Arrange) may be a useful model for intervention.

What is the most common drink for alcoholics? ›

Among the most common types of alcohol abused include:
  • Gin.
  • Tequila.
  • Vodka.
  • Whiskey.
  • Rum.
  • Brandy.
Jul 10, 2020

What is the difference between a habitual drinker and an alcoholic? ›

Problem drinking is using alcohol in a way that can negatively impact your health and your life, but the body is not physically dependent on the substance. Alcoholism, on the other hand, most likely includes the physical addiction to alcohol in addition to the problems it may cause your health and your life.

Does the urge to drink ever go away? ›

The cravings will lessen in severity over time, but for some people, they will take several years to go away completely. For others, the cravings may never fully disappear, but hopefully these individuals learned relapse-prevention skills in rehab to help them withstand these episodes.

How do I motivate myself to stop drinking? ›

How to stay motivated while cutting down on alcohol
  1. Set specific goals.
  2. Consider what motivates you.
  3. Alcohol and weight.
  4. Think about what you will miss.
  5. Communicate your intentions.
  6. Be aware of your triggers.
  7. Notice how you feel.
  8. Celebrate your successes.

How do you deal with drinking all day? ›

Here's How to Pace Yourself for a Full Day of Drinking Without Passing Out in the Bushes
  1. Timing is everything. First and foremost you have to pace yourself. ...
  2. Eat. A lot. ...
  3. Stop it with the shots. ...
  4. Drink water too. ...
  5. Take a nap. ...
  6. Don't puke.
Jun 1, 2018

What are the 7 steps of recovery? ›

The 7 steps are: 1) awareness, 2) surrender, 3) readiness, 4) receptivity, 5) acceptance, 6) perspective, and 7) action.

What is the 7th step in recovery? ›

The seventh step of Alcoholics Anonymous urges us to embrace pursuit of humility as a fundamental aspect of staying sober. Humility is equally vital on the path towards a useful, happy life.

What is the 7th step of AA? ›

The direct text of Step 7 reads; “Humbly ask Him (God, inspiration, etc.) to remove our shortcomings.” The pivotal part of this Step is oftentimes humility.

What are the five stages of recovery from alcoholism in the correct order? ›

The five stages of addiction recovery are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance.

What are the 3 P's of recovery? ›

3 “P's” for Recovery: Passion, Power and Purpose.

What are the 5 W's in recovery? ›

Who, what, where, when, why- there are questions to ask after a relapse. If you or a loved one have recently relapsed, investigating the 5 W's isn't an inquisition, but a search for knowledge to prevent relapse in the future.

What are the 4 R's of recovery? ›


Based on the available evidence, we have identified a mnemonic entitled the 4R's which stands for Rehydrate, Refuel, Repair, and Rest.

What are the 12 pillars of recovery? ›

The 12 spiritual principles of recovery are as follows: acceptance, hope, faith, courage, honesty, patience, humility, willingness, brotherly-love, integrity, self-discipline, and service.

What are step 11 paths to recovery? ›

What Is Step 11 of AA? “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.” We see you as more than your alcohol addiction.

What is step 7 and 12 step recovery? ›

Step Seven of AA's Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Step program of recovery is about getting rid of character defects and replacing them by practicing humility & spiritual principles. Working on the seventh step requires constant thoughtfulness and commitment to being honest, courageous and humble.

What is the 9th step in Alcoholics Anonymous? ›

Step Nine: “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

What is the AA morning prayer? ›

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Not many people have heard the AA Serenity Prayer before they first attend an AA meeting…but once it's in your life, it never leaves.

What are a list of character defects? ›

Examples of common character defects include:
  • Anger and Hatred.
  • Selfishness and self-centeredness.
  • Being dishonest and lying regularly.
  • Defensiveness.
  • Constantly playing the victim.
  • Blaming self and others.
  • Antagonistic.
  • Close-mindedness.

What is the hardest stage of sobriety? ›

The first week of sobriety is often the most difficult. You may experience withdrawal symptoms that last for a few days or weeks. These symptoms are uncomfortable, and the risk of relapse can be high.

How long does the brain recover from alcohol? ›

The new research shows that it takes at least two weeks for the brain to start returning to normal, so this is the point at which the alcohol recovery timeline begins. Until the brain has recovered, it is less able to suppress the urge to drink. This is because the alcohol has impaired the brain's cognitive ability.


1. Convincing an Alcoholic to Get Help? What NOT to Say and Do!
(Fit Recovery)
2. Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) and Its Treatment
(McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics)
3. How to treat Alcohol Addiction? - Doctor Explains
4. Alcohol Use Disorder - A New Approach
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5. Medications for Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder
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6. Personalized treatment for alcohol abuse: Mayo Clinic Radio
(Mayo Clinic)


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