Understanding Alcohol Abuse and How to Overcome It

The term alcohol abuse typically means excessive drinking and is described as more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men. Excessive drinking can lead to serious physical, psychological, and social difficulties. When you’ve determined that you or a loved one needs help, there are ways to get it.


Alcohol detox, or alcohol rehab, is often considered the first stage of treatment for someone suffering from alcohol abuse. When one stops excessively drinking, this can bring on withdrawal symptoms. 

Choose a reliable center with caring professionals who can deal with the physical side effects of alcohol withdrawal. The center will also help focus on thought and behavior patterns that led to the abuse in the first place. Select a center that helps provide the long-term support necessary to maintain sobriety following the detox. 

Two Types of Rehab Programs

Residential treatment means living in a facility as an inpatient while detoxing and receiving treatment. The treatment provides Intensive therapy sessions in both group and individual settings. The benefit is 24-hour support for treating withdrawal symptoms.

Outpatient treatment means living at home and attending regular group and individual therapy sessions. This allows one to practice what was learned in treatment and apply it to real-world situations simultaneously. It’s an acceptable option for those experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

How the detox process will go for each person is hard to predict. A primary care physician should recommend a doctor trained to assess and treat patients. Consider making this appointment before initiating the withdrawal process. 

If you or a loved one is experiencing, or are at risk to experience, moderate-to-severe withdrawal symptoms, seriously consider a residential or inpatient rehab center. These facilities usually provide the monitoring and treatment necessary for intense withdrawal symptoms. They can also get the patient to an acute care hospital if needed.

Other Treatments for Alcohol Abuse

Once a person has stopped drinking they’ll benefit from methods that help overcome urges to drink again. These include: 

  • Family therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy 
  • 12-step programs like AA
  • Family involvement in 12-step programs like Al-Anon and ACOA
  • Participation with other mutual support groups

If you need help choosing the right alcohol detox program, consult your doctor or search for an alcohol specific recovery center in your area.

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