Alcohol And Drinking Treatments For Alcoholism

1931 words - 8 pages

Treatments for Alcoholism

      Where can alcoholics receive help? “Hospitals, psychiatric agencies, public-welfare departments, and social agencies, among others are often reluctant to provide care and treatment for problem drinkers” (Plaut, 53). Although it is difficult to help these problems drinkers, many people will give all they can to help these problem drinkers. “The provision of treatment to problem drinkers is complicated because they differ from one to another in so many ways” (Plaut, 33). Many different factors vary within problem drinkers. “Not only do their drinking patterns vary greatly, but also their physical health, psychological condition, and economic circumstances” (Plaut, 34). Problem drinkers have problems associated with alcohol and also many other difficulties in life not necessarily dealing with alcohol. “Therefore, in planning treatment services for problem drinkers, or in developing a treatment plan for an individual, it is necessary to take into account more than just the drinking; in fact, it may even be impossible to deal with the drinking behavior unless other problems are also tackled” (Plaut, 34). Since drinking can be related to other problems it is important to take everything into account when helping a problem drinker.


It is difficult to help problem drinkers with their alcohol problems and also their personal problems. “The goals of treatment for most conditions are the relief of symptoms and the restoration of health” (Plaut, 34). A complicated situation to understand is “the fact that few, if, any, problem drinkers will be able to return to “normal” social drinking” (Plaut, 34). Thus, “the term “cure” is usually avoided. Abstinence, or at least altering the patients drinking patterns, is generally the primary objective” (Plaut, 34). This is usually the primary step before progress can be made in other areas. However, “long-term control over drinking frequently cannot be achieved without other significant changes in the patient and his situation, including a reduction of tensions and distress” (Plaut, 35). In addition, “the quality of the patient”s life, his interpersonal relations and his social and psychological functioning, must all come within the focus of treatment” (Plaut, 35). The most popular and widely advocated treatment for alcoholism is Alcoholics Anonymous. “In 1938 it was estimated that over one million people belong to A.A. There are about forty-eight thousand chapters of the organization in one hundred and ten countries” (Mendelson and Mellow, 337). These chapters range in size from “six to four hundred persons” (Mendelson and Mellow, 337). Many people all around the USA receive help from Alcoholics Anonymous. “A.A. stresses that alcoholism is a disease and the persons suffering from it have lost their ability to control their drinking” (Plaut, 62). The frequent meetings “consist principally of the study of A.A. principles, and of members giving personal reports on their...

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