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Can alcoholism be treated?

You can overcome alcohol addiction -- if you're ready to stop drinking and willing to reach out for help from close friends and family, support groups and professional organizations such as Alcoholic Anonymous.

For those who are heavily addicted or have been drinking for a long time, a medically supervised detoxification program may be necessary. Everyone's needs are different, and there's no one cure that works for everyone.

The important thing is to admit you have a problem, then promptly reach out for help. Know that if you do slip, it doesn't mean you are doomed for a major relapse or that you won't be able to get back on track.

Commitment and follow-through are skills every person with an alcohol addiction needs to get -- and stay -- well.

This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.
Sheila Dunnells
Addiction Medicine
The substance use/abuse part can be treated. However, in order to have a successful life, recovery is necessary. Recovery may take many forms but the 12 Step Programs do a very good job for those who are sincere.
Without any kind of recovery, too often the substance abuse is substituted by something else. One person I know, who stopped drinking when a family member was killed, spent his way through one-million dollars buying frivolous things. Every time he got the urge to drink, he went shopping.
People who have abused substances and want to live clean and sober need to do more than just put the substance down. And, even those who go into recovery do so with varying levels of success. There is an expression in the Recovery Movement, "some people are sicker than others."
Fredrick Wade
Addiction Medicine
Yes. Alcoholism is being successfully treated daily in inpatient and outpatient settings all over the world. Alcohol has many associated medical dangers that are an outgrowth of longterm use such as cardiovascular issues, and organ impairment such as alcoholic liver cirrhosis. Detoxification from alcohol can also be dangerous and should always be managed by a medical professional trained in supervising alcohol detoxification and it's associated dangers. Treating alcohol is best accomplished with medical management of detoxification symptoms, and adjunctive counseling and group treatment services to help the alcoholic develop an increased fund of coping strategies. This should be followed by an introduction to community based support systems so that the alcoholic may develop a lifestyle of recovery and an active support network. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.