Effective Therapies for Treatment of Alcoholism

Updated on July 21, 2022
Beautiful woman drinks red wine outdoor on a hot summer afternoon

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is the physical and mental dependence on alcohol. It is a chronic illness that comes with several symptoms, such as the intense desire for alcohol now and then. Symptoms could also include severe periods of withdrawal at any moment you stop taking alcohol. If this is you living with AUD, there is some hope for you. 

You can explore the different types of alcohol treatments available in this guide. A qualified doctor will help you select the best treatment option for your condition, such as medication, detoxification, or relapse prevention training. Read on to discover the various options for alcohol treatment.

  • Behavioral Therapy

It is one of the standard therapies used in addiction treatment. It is very effective and can be suitable for family, individual, or group settings. Its approaches focus on different addiction aspects such as motivation in the recovery process, helping the patients develop relapse prevention skills, and substituting the negative behaviors with productive ones. It also focuses on improving relationships with other people. 

There are different behavioral therapies to treat alcoholism, such as motivational interviewing, dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, family behavioral therapy, and contingency management. 

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

It is a type of behavioral therapy that was started as a clinical approach to curb mood disorders. However, with time therapists began using it to treat other addiction forms such as AUD. CBT believes that thought patterns lead to maladaptive behaviors, but one can reduce such behaviors by pinpointing and changing all the negative emotions and thoughts. 

Several CBT techniques can help alleviate substance use, avoid relapse and manage cravings. During these therapy sessions, the therapist guides the patient to look into their thoughts and then discuss with the therapist. With this therapy, you will learn about places, people, or things that could tempt you to use substances or drink alcohol. The other primary focus of this therapy session is to help the victim develop some coping skills to manage their cravings to drink. 

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT is evidence-based psychotherapy started to treat people who had long-term suicidal behaviors. However, today the therapy can treat borderline personality disorder. It is a mental health issue commonly brought about by concurrent substance abuse. This therapy focuses on helping the patients improve their lives by balancing accepting the unavoidable pain in life and the urge to do away with some painful experiences. A therapist can do it via telephone sessions, individual counseling sessions, and group therapy.

  • Motivational Interviewing

It is a therapy technique that was curated to boost an individual’s engagement with their recovery efforts. Motivational interviewing is also effective in reducing substance abuse. The procedure helps patients move from thinking of having a change to get involved in the change actively. It can be administered alone or combined with other therapeutic sessions. 

It is a short-term therapy session offered in groups or an individual setting. With this therapy session, the therapist encourages the patients to look at the adverse effects of alcohol. The main focus of this therapy is why you want to stop taking alcohol and the positive and negative impacts of that change you want to make. 

  • Contingency Management

It is a therapy technique that uses rewards to enforce behavioral changes. It rewards those who exhibit positive behavior like negative breathalyzer results with vouchers for items or small prizes. The reward values could keep increasing or remain stagnant and will only stop after negative behavior like a relapse.

Research has proved that this technique works perfectly at encouraging abstinence. Contingency management framework involves operant conditioning – where one alters voluntary behaviors via positive or negative reinforcement for those behaviors. 

Take Away

All these therapies could be effective for alcoholism treatment. However, you need to visit a specialist who knows more about alcoholism. They are going to tell you the best treatment since there are various alcohol treatment options.  

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.