If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol dependence, there is help available. It is important to seek professional medical advice and support from specialized alcohol services. Additionally, it is essential to avoid all sources of alcohol, including alcoholic beverages and substances that give off alcoholic vapors, such as solvents and paint solvents. It is estimated that one in seven adults (14%) in the United Kingdom never drinks alcohol, and more than half of them (52%) have drunk before.
To help prevent relapse or limit the amount of alcohol consumed, Nalmefene (brand name Selincro) can be used. Keeping a drink diary to record the number of units of alcohol consumed per week may also be recommended. For those who are dependent on alcohol or have other medical or mental health problems, total abstinence is the only solution. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) believes that alcohol dependence is a long-term progressive illness and that total abstinence is the only solution.
They may also provide advice about social drinking, such as alternating soft drinks with alcoholic beverages when going out with friends. Strategies such as watching for peer pressure, keeping busy, asking for support, being aware of temptation, and being persistent can be useful for those who want to quit drinking completely. Acamprosate (brand name Campral) can be used to help prevent relapse in those who have achieved abstinence from alcohol. Disulfiram works by deterring you from drinking by causing unpleasant physical reactions if you drink alcohol; however, it is important to maintain abstinence during this time as you will still have unpleasant reactions if you come into contact with alcohol for a week after finishing taking disulfiram.
If you are concerned about your alcohol use or have had an alcohol-related accident or injury, you may be offered a brief counseling session known as a brief intervention.