How is alcoholism treated?

Treatment for alcoholism can be different for each person. If the person has a serious physical illness due to alcohol, he or she must get medical care right away.

Treatment often begins with "detox," or detoxification, which is the body's withdrawal from alcohol. After the body is clean of alcohol, the alcoholic enters a counseling program. The goal of counseling is to help the alcoholic face emotional issues that lead to drinking and to learn ways to stop drinking. Medications may be given to curb a physical craving for alcohol.

Treatment programs can last from a few weeks to years. Places for treatment include hospitals, live-in treatment centers, clinics, and counseling offices.

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