There are, contrary to popular belief, many alcoholism treatment options to effectively help alcoholics give up drinking or moderating alcohol intake. The reason they are so little heard of is that Alcoholics anonymous and the 12 steps has, for the last 80 years or so, been the preeminent alcohol dependency treatment option.
Many, however, find Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 steps difficult to swallow and, because they believe it to be the only option, give up trying to give up.
This is a desperate state of affairs and we hope this page will go some way toward showing those who have tried AA and found it alien to them that there are AA alternatives out there.
Please do not think we are saying that Alcoholics Anonymous is not a viable recovery option. It is, but just not for everybody.
We at The Alcoholism Guide believe everybody has the right to be informed about the alcoholism treatment options open to them thus giving them the best chance of recovery.
There is an AA support group in every city and nearly every town throughout the U.S and Europe. This is one of its great strengths. Wherever you are you will be able to find an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting within easy reach, a great source of comfort for the recovering alcoholic. Membership for AA is open to basically everyone who wants to do resolve his or her drinking issues.
There are many who swear by AA and credit the organization for saving them from the horrors of alcoholism. Yet there are a vocal minority who lambaste AA for what they perceive to be its cult-like practices, reliance on reinforcing negativity and slavish devotion to the 12 steps. This may be so, but there is no doubt that it has performed a valuable public service since its creation 80 or so years ago.
Want to make up your own mind?
Then read our pages on Alcoholics Anonymous and decide whether AA is the alcoholism treatment option for you.
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Primarily as a response to the unease some felt at the AA way, other support groups have cropped up over the years. Usually, but not always, these groups reject the spirituality central to the 12 steps and embrace secularity. An example of these groups is Lifering Secular Recovery.
LifeRing Secular Recovery is a group of people who share sobriety support through practical experiences. Some have had bad experiences while attempting to seek help and support elsewhere, but a lot of people soon find that this organization’s emphasis on the positive and practical present-day can turn despair and anger into resolve and hope. LifeRing respectfully embraces and accepts what works for every individual.
Other support groups that cater to particular sections of society such as Christians, women, gays/lesbians and so on are also on the rise.
If you would like to learn more about support groups such as these then take a look at Alcohol Treatment That isn't AA.
There are a number of medications licensed for use in the treatment of alcohol dependence and pharmacotherapy has a very important role to play in treating the condition. However, many working in the addiction field believe that medication is only really useful when used in conjunction with other treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy or support group attendance.
However, there are also those who believe that a certain medication, Naltrexone, has the potential to be a cure for alcoholism.
Naltrexone hinders the parts of the brain that “feel” pleasure from alcohol. When these zones of the brain are blocked, you don’t get alcohol cravings as much as before, and you could stop drinking more easily. This medication does not make you throw up or feel sick if you consume alcohol while taking it, unlike disulfiram, another medication that is also used for alcoholism.
The Sinclair Method uses this medication to reduce the cravings for alcohol that alcoholics typically have thus ridding them of the compulsion and obsession to drink. Unlike conventional alcoholism treatments that need complete abstinence from alcohol, this method lets you continue drinking alcohol at the start of treatment.
To learn more about medication used in the treatment of alcoholism read Medication For Alcoholism.
There are many resources on the Internet that claim to be able to help you beat alcohol dependence in the 'comfort of your own home'. Most of these are ineffective and designed purely to extract money from those desperate enough to buy them. There is however one e-book we have come across that lives up to its promise.
'How To Give Up Alcohol' by Rahul Nag gives those struggling with alcohol the tools to either return to moderate drinking (staying within moderate drinking guidelines) or give up completely without needing to attend Alcoholics anonymous Meeting.
To discover more about this breakthrough method, read 'How To Give Up Alcohol.'
Whichever of the alcoholism treatment options you choose, keep in mind that you really need to want to give up drinking if you are to succeed. No alcoholism treatment program will work if you have been forced into into it by well-meaning family and friends or your own conscience.