ZocdocAnswersWhat is the treatment available for someone who is drinking heavily but wants to stop?

Question

What is the treatment available for someone who is drinking heavily but wants to stop?

I am drinking heavily, every day. I know I have a problem... I'm just not sure what the next step is. How do I stop? I want to.

Answer

It sounds like you have taken a very important step by identifying that you have a problem and wanting to make changes. The best thing for you to do right now will be to see a primary care physician for an overall health evaluation as well as a discussion of your alcohol habit and the best way to help you stop drinking. It is important to have an overall sense of your health, since people who have had longstanding drinking problems can sometimes suffer from a range of other conditions (nutritional deficiencies, heart disease, and liver disease, for example) and it is important to address these as early as possible so that the long-term effects are minimized. Secondly, determining the best alcohol cessation approach will depend in part on your actual drinking habits and whether you also use other substances. Some people benefit from a true inpatient admission for detox, while others can utilize a partial day program or a group program like AA. The key issue for you will be determining whether you are at risk for delirium tremens and seizures if you were to stop drinking--in this case you would likely need to be admitted to keep you safe while stopping drinking. Your doctor can help you with this, so start by booking an appointment today. You have taken the first step towards improving your health by addressing your problem. Congratulations and good luck!

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