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NIAAA consumer guide emphasizes variety of alcohol treatments

November 17, 2014
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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A federally produced guide to alcohol treatment options for individuals and families serves as an acknowledgment of a broad diversity of effective treatments for alcohol use disorders. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) director George Koob, PhD, is quoted in a Nov. 14 news release about the NIAAA guide, “The popular concept of alcohol treatment is often limited to knowledge of 28-day inpatient rehab or 12-Step programs.”

The resource titled Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help offers detailed descriptions of what NIAAA terms as “the two types of professionally led treatments shown to benefit people with alcohol use disorders”: behavioral treatments that work to change drinking behavior, and medications that are often used in conjunction with behavioral treatment.

Koob added, “In fact there are diverse treatment options of which people may be less aware, and many of which can be undertaken with minimal disruption to home and work life.” The guide discusses the three non-addictive medications approved in the U.S. to treat alcohol dependence—disulfiram, naltrexone and acamprosate—and emphasizes that treatment with these drugs can be overseen by primary care physicians.

The publication includes questions that can help individuals identify the overall treatment option that might best suit them.