Menu Close
Close this search box.

Alcohol Abuse Treatment

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” Chauncey Depew


The terminology can be confusing: Alcohol use disorder is also called: alcoholism, alcohol dependence, alcohol dependence, alcoholism, alcohol addiction.

The Mayo Clinic defines alcohol use disorder (which includes a level that’s sometimes called alcoholism) is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition that doctors diagnose when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm.

Bottom line, we are not hung up on semantics, we want to help you take back control of your health.

How does one know there’s a problem?

The condition can range from mild to severe and is diagnosed when a patient answers “yes” to two or more of the questions below. 

The consequences of untreated abuse or addiction often include other physical and mental health disorders that require medical attention. If left untreated over time, addiction becomes more severe, disabling, and life-threatening.

Treatment is available and it helps!

As disheartening as it may be to recognize that the condition persists in a loved one, friend, or oneself, there is a silver lining this the cloud: prevention efforts and treatment approaches for abuse and addiction are generally as successful as those for other chronic diseases. 

Our approach to alcohol use disorders is aligned with the integrative approach to medicine.  It is healing-oriented that considers the whole person, emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between us and our patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies. The centerpiece treatment plan for those with alcohol-related conditions, is Vivitrol, a once-a-month injectable form of extended-release naltrexone. 

About Vivitrol. It:

  • is a non-addictive and non-narcotic prescription medication with a low risk of misuse and dependence. 
  • is one of three medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for alcohol use disorder.
  • alters how your brain responds to the alcohol by preventing alcohol-induced endorphins from attaching to their receptors.
  • takes time as it doesn’t instantly reduce cravings for alcohol. Therefore, it’s critical not to miss any Vivitrol shots to gain the full benefits of this medication.  ​

Please note: Vivitrol is most effective when used in conjunction with other elements of a treatment program. It is our strong recommendation to include counseling, lab studies, nutrition, as well as other alternative therapies such as massage and acupuncture. 

Image by Hayley Seibel

Image by Ian Stauffer

Know the Signs

Image by Todd Trapani

NIH National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism tells us that, ” Alcohol-related problems—which result from drinking too much, too fast, or too often—are among the most significant public health issues in the United States.

Many people struggle with controlling their drinking at some time in their lives.” The NIH NIAAA offers this self-assessment:




Having even a couple of symptoms—which you might not see as trouble signs—can signal a drinking problem. It helps to know the signs so you can make a change early. 

  • In the past year, have you and/or someone you love:
  • Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer than you intended?
  • More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
  • Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
  • Experienced craving—a strong need, or urge, to drink?
  • Found that drinking—or being sick from drinking—often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
  • Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
  • Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
  • More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
  • Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
  • Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
  • Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?

If you and/or someone you care about have any of these symptoms, your drinking may already be a cause for concern. The more symptoms you have, the more urgent the need for change. 

Ready to make a change? Let’s talk about treatment.

Scroll to Top