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11 Apr 2003

Can a person treat alcoholism themselves?
My boyfriend has admitted he has a drinking problem - this affects our relationship as he gets violent. He says he does not want to go to AA though can he treat himself? and what are the recovery averages? Please help and let me know how can I support him without mothering him?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear pop,
Good question. Some people are able to manage their alcoholism themselves, and the first, crucial, step is to recognize that there really is a problem and that something needs to be done about it. Without that step beng taken, no form of treatment is ever of much use.
Now, where can he best go from here ? Well, from the sound of it, with problem drinking and issues of violent behaviour when he drinks, he may well need some expert help to be able to handle it well. His own responsibility for his condition and for solving the problem remains unchanged, but he would be well advised to see a psychiatrist for advice on how best to manage this problem --- there are, for instance, some medications which can help him to keep to his resolve to stop drinking, and ways to support and help him achieve this, which would be well worth considering.
I understand his hesitation about AA. But remember, AA is not the only way to go in treating alcoholism. Many people find it extremely helpful ; some find they just can't adjust to its methods ; and my impression is that younger folks find it harder to work with this method. But while he doesn't have to get involved in AA, he does indeed need to get expert advice and help, and surely he deserves this. He may know something about cars, but if the breaks need fixing, surely one would insist on getting an expert to work on them ?
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