Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Alcoholism Treatment

There is no cure for alcoholism. Initial therapy involves alcohol withdrawal treatment, which may require an alcohol detoxification center or admission to a hospital. After treatment for acute alcohol withdrawal, a person usually requires medications that reduce alcohol craving. Successful long-term treatment for alcoholism requires the strict avoidance of alcohol. In order to maintain abstinence from alcohol, most alcoholics benefit greatly from life-long participation in alcoholism support groups and psychological counseling.

Treatment for alcoholism may include:

Alcoholism Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of alcoholism.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for liver disease?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Alcoholism Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat alcoholism:

Continue to Alcoholism Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 3, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Alcoholism References
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  3. Piccinelli M, Tessari E, et al: Efficacy of the alcohol use disorders identification test as a screening tool for hazardous alcohol intake and related disorders in primary care: a validity study. BMJ 1997 Feb 8; 314(7078): 420-4. [9040389]
  4. Room R, Babor T, Rehm J: Alcohol and public health. Lancet 2005 Feb 5; 365(9458): 519-30. [15705462]
  5. Saitz R: Clinical practice. Unhealthy alcohol use. N Engl J Med 2005 Feb 10; 352(6): 596-607. [15703424]
  6. Scott LJ, Figgitt DP, Keam SJ, Waugh J. Acamprosate: a review of its use in the maintenance of abstinence in patients with alcohol dependence. CNS Drugs. 2005;19(5):445-64. [15907154]
  7. Wilk AI, Jensen NM, Havighurst TC: Meta-analysis of randomized control trials addressing brief interventions in heavy alcohol drinkers. J Gen Intern Med 1997 May; 12(5): 274-83. [9159696]
  8. Willner IR, Reuben A. Alcohol and the liver. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2005 May;21(3):323-30. [15818153]
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