February 2015

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Treatment for Alcohol Problems

An estimated 17 million Americans have an alcohol use disorder. But research suggests that only a fraction of them seek professional help. No matter how severe the problems may seem, most people can benefit from some form of therapy.

A new easy-to-read publication from NIH can help individuals and families understand the available treatment options. The 16-page booklet, Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help, covers the latest research-based therapies and things to consider when choosing among them.

Two types of treatments provided by health care professionals have been shown to benefit people with alcohol use disorders. These are behavioral treatments (which focus on changing drinking behaviors) and medications (which are often paired with behavioral treatment).

The booklet also includes information about mutual-support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. And it provides tips for recognizing alcohol problems and advice for friends and family.

The publication is available online at pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/treatment/treatment.htm. You can also order free print copies by calling 1-888-MY-NIAAA (888-696-4222) or visiting pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/english-order.htm.