Getting Support

Alcohol dependence normally requires treatment to overcome, and the withdrawal symptoms can make it hard to stop on your own. It is important to seek medical advice when you are contemplating cutting down, as depending on how much you are drinking, some withdrawal symptoms can be life threatening. This is one of the reasons why inpatient rehab treatment is often a good option, although if you don't have access to private medical insurance it can be an expensive solution.

One of the most well-known treatments for overcoming alcohol difficulties is the 12-step program started by Alcoholics Anonymous. This group support approach has helped many people recover from an addiction to alcohol. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking and the fellowship values honesty and supporting one another to aid recovery.

The psychological therapy most commonly used with people with alcohol problems is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT for short. It  is a popular therapy approach which can be accessed on an individual basis or in a group format. It aims to help the individual with the stresses that made them start drinking to excess in the first place, by replacing unhelpful thoughts such as ‘I can't cope, I'm a failure, I need a drink' with kinder, more self-affirming thinking styles such as:

• ‘It's ok to find this difficult'
• ‘I can ask for support'
• ‘One small step in the right direction is great progress'

In addition to CBT, there are a number of other therapies to support those with alcohol difficulties toward recovery. Many people find they need to experiment with more than one treatment approach, often in conjunction with a group support program such as AA, in order to find one that best suits their personality and style.

The most important thing to know is that difficulties with alcohol can be overcome, and many people manage to successfully reduce or cut out alcohol from their lives.  Reach out to one of the following organizations to find out more and take the first step toward your own journey of recovery:

Alcoholics Anonymous -
Alcohol Concern -
Rehab International -
Hello Sunday Morning -
Soberistas -
Positive Diabetes (to find a psychologist) –
Recommended book - The Easy Way to Stop Drinking by Allen Carr

Dr. Jen Nash is a clinical psychologist who has lived with diabetes for more than 20 years. She runs, an education, therapy and coaching service that supports people with type 1 and 2 to manage the emotional and psychological impact of day to day life with diabetes.

Read Dr. Nash's biography here.

Read more of Dr. Nash's columns.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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Last Modified Date: July 11, 2014

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Lindsey Guerin
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