Take a pragmatic approach to kicking your alcohol dependence with these proven methods.
Step 1: Consult a psychiatrist. At least 40 percent of people who abuse alcohol have a serious mental-health issue – like depression or anxiety – that leads them to self-medicate with liquor. Treating any underlying condition may help curb your alcohol dependency.
Step 2: Get counseling to find ways to resist the urge to drink. And don't assume that rehabilitation has to be in-house; research shows that outpatient rehab can also be effective.
TIP: Cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy have proven particularly helpful in treating people with addictions.
Step 3: Ask a doctor about the medications available to treat alcoholism. Some help reduce the craving for alcohol, while others discourage drinking by making people feel sick after they've had liquor.
TIP: Drugs that treat alcoholism are meant to supplement, not replace, counseling.
Step 4: Join a support group. Search online for options or ask your place of worship for assistance.
Step 5: Lean on friends and family members to help you maintain your sobriety. People with strong support systems do better, and your loved ones will want to see you succeed.
Step 6: Stick it out. Alcoholism is a chronic illness, and relapses may happen. But if you can stay with a treatment program for 90 days, you have a better chance of overcoming your problem for good.
FACT: Several studies have concluded that alcoholics have genetic variations that make them more prone to become addicts.