How to Stop Drinking Alcohol

January 29th, 2011

The sad reality is that many people do not know how to stop drinking alcohol even though alcohol abuse is causing real problems in their lives. There are many competing voices each claiming to have found some sort of “cure” or alcoholism treatment program that is better than all the others. Truth be told, however, there is no quick fix that can be guaranteed to help a person stop drinking alcohol.

Early approaches on how to stop drinking alcohol

Even though alcohol abuse has been a problem since our earliest recorded history it was only in the 1930’s that a group of people sat down to write their experience on how to stop drinking alcohol. Founded by two alcoholics, this group became known as Alcoholics Anonymous and offered a uniquely successful method that helped alcoholics that doctors had given up on. This group offered the first meaningful attempt to understand the inner world of the problem drinker.

Until then medical science viewed alcoholism as some sort of psychiatric problem and was unable to offer any treatment other than to dry the problem drinker up in a sanitarium before sending them out to repeat the disastrous cycle. Luckily through the work of these pioneers we now know how to stop drinking alcohol for good!  No longer does the problem drinker face the grim prognosis given less than a century ago.

As the group of Alcoholics Anonymous showed increasing and consistent success medical science began to take notice of their principles.  New methods of treating alcoholism were developed that incorporated multiple disciplines to address different facets of problem drinking.  One such program is the “Minnesota model” which has been revised through the years and remains very influential in international alcoholism rehabilitation circles. It answers the question of “how to combat alcoholism?” by approaching the problem holistically. This was the secret that the AA group had discovered – that alcoholism had spiritual roots.

Modern thought on how to stop drinking alcohol

By building on academic research and clinical experience new methodology began to be developed. Long-term studies were conducted to discover the most effective way on how to stop drinking alcohol. Critical research evaluated treatment misadventures.  Exploratory research looked for novel approaches to clinical challenges. Eventually we are reaching a point where we understand alcohol addiction help as well as any other disease.  We can describe it’s course, give a prognosis, and most importantly tell the sufferer that they can stop drinking!

Research has shown that the best outcomes for long-term sobriety will typically involve an inpatient rehabilitation programme in an established addiction clinic that employs a modern treatment method.  The longer a person stays in treatment, generally speaking, the better their chances are that they find how to stop drinking alcohol forever.

What is an effective treatment programme?

Effective addictions treatment will involve a number of approaches to the individual.  Since no person is precisely the same as another it is important that a rehabilitation programme be able to adapt itself to suit the person’s unique makeup. Psychological addictions counselling is a very important part of helping a person to quit drinking.  This form of therapy will help a person to overcome any obstacles that may prevent him or her discovering how to stop drinking alcohol.

These barriers could include past trauma, dual diagnosis (e.g.: depression), or feelings of despair. The patient will be seen by doctors and nurses.  Medication may need to be prescribed in certain cases by a psychiatrist to help stabilize the patient’s medical condition. This will help to sort out any physical problems. The patient will be encouraged to develop his/her own spiritual understanding. Without prescribing any particular religion or spiritual belief an addiction treatment centre will usually encourage patients to develop an understanding and relationship with a “Higher Power”.

A formal reintegration programme will help the patient know how to stop drinking alcohol in the longer term. This could take the form of a relapse prevention programme, family counseling sessions, interviews with work, and putting the patient in touch with 12 step and other support groups.
So the quick answer to the question of how to stop drinking alcohol is to find an effective treatment programme and follow it up with attendance at 12 step support groups!

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