Cures For Alcoholism: Reality or Hoax?

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : October 08, 
| 4 Sources

Debating cures for alcoholism.
It's incurable! It's manageable! It's curable! Opinion is most definitely divided on this one.

According to a Canadian study, the cures for alcoholism and its consequences costs more than the treatment of cancer. (For more on the costs, both financial and societal, of alcohol dependence read alcohol abuse statistics)

Imagine the benefits to finding a cure. A cure that would lead to the betterment of the world, societies, communities, families and individuals.

The advantages would be immeasurable.

However, there is much debate among the addiction community over whether money and time should be spent on the search for a cure for alcoholism, or if resources would be better employed looking for effective ways to manage the condition.

But still the search goes on.

So how close are we to a cure today?

At present there are four differing views espoused by those debating if there is, or ever can be, a cure for alcohol dependence.

There are no cures for alcoholism.

A sizable majority those involved in the addiction field would say NO, there is no cure for alcoholism.

The only proven and successful treatment for drink dependency, in their minds, is abstinence. In other words not drinking alcohol at all.

A very difficult for the drink addicted person to do. Trust me, I know!

The view that abstinence is the only treatment comes from the widely held opinion that alcoholism is a disease and/or a form of alcohol allergy.

cures for alcoholism

This disease and/or allergy is part of the person and will not go away; it cannot be 'cured'.

It has to be managed (much like diabetes). The way to manage it is not to expose yourself to the trigger, drink.

Avoiding drink is a very difficult thing for the alcoholic to do. An intense craving is one of the symptoms.

This craving can be controlled with alcoholism medication and attendance at support groups.

Alcoholics Anonymous (or AA), a global community of people who’ve had drinking problems, is the most 'popular' support system that helps the alcoholic manage their disease through understanding and empathy with fellow 'sufferers'.

The majority of alcoholics who display signs of alcoholism and want to stop drinking, attend AA.

It is not easy and relapse is common. However it is 'regarded' as the most effective treatment for drink dependency and is the accepted treatment. For them, managing the disease is the only option because there is no alcoholism cure.

However, just because it is the accepted treatment doesn't make it the best treatment.

Alcoholics anonymous has a poor success rate, at least according to statistics. 5% of people who attend AA meetings remain abstinent after three years. There are many alternatives to AA which claim to have much higher success rates.

There are no cures for alcoholism because there is no disease.

Some have the opposite view that addiction to drink is merely a lack of willpower and a moral weakness.

An alcoholism cure for them is very achievable. Just get your life together and be responsible.

Sounds simple, but a bit too simple?

There are no cures for alcoholism but there is medication to help.

Those who advance this notion are of the belief that there is no 'magic pill' to cure alcoholism, but that there are alcoholism medications to help in its treatment

The FDA approves a number of medications to help in the treatment of drink addiction yet they are all far from a 'magic pill':

  • Disulfiram:
    Also known as Antabuse. It prevents an enzyme in the liver from breaking down alcohol so the dependent begins to sweat, feel nauseous, flushes in the face, his/her blood pressure rise and, if the person continues to drink then he/she could die. cures for alcoholism

    It is a deterrent. It doesn't reduce craving or the obsession to drink. It is NOT a cure.

    Personally I think it is a waste of time and dangerous to give to people.

    If an alcoholic's cravings are powerful enough for him to drive while drunk, lose his family, his job, risk his health, become homeless, and eventually die from his drinking..... what power will Antabuse hold over him?

    I am a case in point. I drank on Antabuse many times, stupid I know but that is the power of the craving.
  • Naltrexone:
    Naltrexone is a drug that is commonly used to treat alcoholism. It is usually prescribed to opiate abusers. It works by blocking the good feelings that alcohol causes. It is used to reduce craving in those who have already stopped drinking.

    However, there are some who believe that naltrexone can be used in a different way, in the so-called Sinclair Method, a method which has the real potential to cure alcoholism.
  • Acamprosate:
    Marketed under the brand name Campral. This is a relatively new drug licensed by the FDA and is used for alcohol withdrawals. It lessens the severity of the anxiety and tremors associated with coming off drink.

There is a cure - Available Now!

There are various people who make claims that they have discovered a cure for alcoholism. They believe that no matter how serious the problem might seem, a lot of people with an alcohol use disorder could benefit from some kind of treatment.

Some of these cures do work, there are many examples of people who have managed to give up alcohol or go back to moderate drinking and the statistics seem to back them up.

However, although they seem to work they do not work for everybody.

Of all the 'cures for alcoholism', perhaps The Sinclair Method and that using Baclofen (a prescribed medication) hold the most promise.

To know more about effective treatments for alcoholism, please reach out to a dedicated treatment provider today.

Are There Cures for Alcoholism?
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Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More


Alcoholics Anonymous. What is A.A.?

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help. 2014.

Family Doctor. Naltrexone for Alcoholism.

Mayo Clinic. Alcohol use disorder.

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