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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Can alcoholism be cured?

 

No, alcoholism cannot be cured at this time. Even if an alcoholic hasn’t been drinking for a long time, he or she can still suffer a relapse. Not drinking is the safest course for most people with alcoholism.

Can alcoholism be treated?

Yes, alcoholism can be treated. Alcoholism treatment programs use both counseling and medications to help a person stop drinking. Treatment has helped many people stop drinking and rebuild their lives.

Does alcoholism treatment work?

Alcoholism treatment works for many people. But like other chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma, there are varying levels of success when it comes to treatment. Some people stop drinking and remain sober. Others have long periods of sobriety with bouts of relapse. And still others cannot stop drinking for any length of time. With treatment, one thing is clear, however: the longer a person abstains from alcohol, the more likely he or she will be able to stay sober.

Can a problem drinker simply cut down?

It depends. If that person has been diagnosed as an alcoholic, the answer is "no." Alcoholics who try to cut down on drinking rarely succeed. Cutting out alcohol--that is, abstaining--is usually the best course for recovery. People who are not alcohol dependent but who have experienced alcohol-related problems may be able to limit the amount they drink. If they can’t stay within those limits, they need to stop drinking altogether. (See also "Publications/Pamphlets and Brochures," How to Cut Down on Your Drinking.)

How can a person get help for an alcohol problem?

Many people find support groups a helpful aid to recovery. The following list includes a variety of resources:

Al-Anon/Alateen

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA)

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI)

        Blessed Are the Addicts: The Spiritual Side of Alcoholism, Addiction, and Recovery
by John A. Martin

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