Why Alcoholic Treatment Is Necessary Before AA

March 17, 2014 - , - 0 Comments

When alcohol use becomes a problem, it can also be a time of questioning one’s entire life and the implications of excessive alcohol use on one’s life overall. When one seeks help for alcohol use, oftentimes the person’s life has become unmanageable in a myriad of ways.

Informal and formal assessment

Before making it in front of a licensed alcohol and drug counselor or other mental health professional, one usually has hit a rough patch in the road due to use of alcohol. Oftentimes relationships have suffered, the law may be involved, work may be impacted; all of this in addition to the individual feeling quite depressed internally and sad and questioning about how things could get so bad. All of this may be part of the individual’s informal assessment or may be an assessment of a friend, family member or coworker.

Formal assessment involves getting the person in front of the appropriate mental health professional or licensed drug and alcohol counselor. An individual will be assessed in a formalized manner using evidence based criteria to make an accurate assessment. For example, the counselor will determine if criteria are met for alcohol abuse or dependence using the DSM system of diagnosing psychiatric conditions. The professional will also be able to screen for other possible mental health diagnoses and symptoms. The counselor can than make treatment recommendations and make referrals to treatment options.

Why treatment is important

In treatment, the individual will learn about his or her alcohol use patterns and will learn coping techniques to begin to function without the use of alcohol. The individual will learn “how to be in a group” and will also learn what it means to be in recovery, what can be expected in recovery, etc…

How support groups can augment in patient or out patient treatment

AA can be a very helpful addition to structured treatment for alcohol abuse or dependence. The nature of AA is to be accepting, supportive and anonymous to folks outside the group. Some of the relationships people make in AA groups oftentimes are some of the strongest and most committed in an individual’s life.

Alcohol treatment is more readily available than any time previously. Treatment and support groups like AA can provide a framework for managing daily life without the use of alcohol or drugs.

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