ZocdocAnswersIf alcoholism is a disease is it healthy to try and stop on your own?

Question

If alcoholism is a disease is it healthy to try and stop on your own?

My husband finally admitted that he is an alcoholic and has sworn that he will quit drinking. But if its a disease is it okay for him to just do it on his own? He refuses to go to meetings or rehab or anything.

Answer

I am very happy to hear that your husband has admitted that he has a drinking problem and that he is interested in quitting drinking. I would, however, continue to encourage him to seek additional help with quitting. If he is not willing to go to any meetings or rehab, maybe you can at least encourage him to go to see his primary care doctor for help. His doctor will be able to assess his level of drinking and will be able to make recommendations. In particular, maybe your husband will be will to undergo individual counseling therapy to help with his drinking, even if he is not interested in attending a group. Additionally, many people who suffer from alcoholism also have other psychiatric problems, such as depression or bipolar disorder. These disorders require treatment as well, and the chances of successfully quitting drinking may depend on also treating these other problems. Finally, if your husband is a heavy drinker, it could be very dangerous for him to quit 'cold turkey' as the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be very severe and even life threatening. Therefore, it is essential that he be evaluated prior to make this decision on his own.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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