Treatment for Alcohol Problems (NIAAA)

Alcohol-related problems — which result from drinking too much, too fast, or too often — are among the most significant public health issues in the United States.

Many people struggle with controlling their drinking at some time in their lives. Approximately 17 million adults ages 18 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.

The good news is that no matter how severe the problem may seem, most people can benefit from some form of treatment.

Research shows that about one-third of people who are treated for alcohol problems have no further symptoms 1 year later. Many others substantially reduce their drinking and report fewer drinking-related problems.

When asked how alcohol problems are treated, people commonly think of 12-step programs or 28-day inpatient rehab, but may have difficulty naming other options. In fact, there are a variety of treatment methods currently available, thanks to significant advances in the field over the past 60 years.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and what may work for one person may not be a good fit for someone else. Simply understanding the different options can be an important first step.

Professionals in the alcohol treatment field offer advice on what to consider when choosing a treatment program.

Overall, gather as much information as you can about the program or provider before making a decision on treatment. If you know someone who has first-hand knowledge of the program, it may help to ask about his or her personal experience.

A publication from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

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