AlcoholRehabHelp Logo
AlcoholRehabHelp Logo
Alcohol & Health
Helping Alcoholics
Where Does My Call Go?
Updated on October 10, 2023
9 min read

Alcoholism Resources and Programs

How Do You Treat Alcoholism?

Patients struggling with alcohol use disorder have different paths to sobriety. Here are a few common strategies employed by health professionals:

  • Detoxification: Medically supervised treatment to manage withdrawal symptoms safely
  • Counseling and therapy: Behavioral therapies, support groups, and family therapy to address psychological concerns related to substance use
  • Addiction medicine: Prescribed drugs like naltrexone and acamprosate to reduce cravings and dependence
  • Lifestyle changes: Encouraging healthy habits like exercise and socialization to improve mental health 

Contact your primary care physician to determine the appropriate treatment.


Online Therapy Can Help

Over 3 million people use BetterHelp. Their services are:

  • Professional and effective
  • Affordable and convenient
  • Personalized and discreet
  • Easy to start
Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

online consultation

Groups for Alcoholism

People suffering from alcohol problems and seeking professional help can receive one-on-one therapy and peer support from these in-person and online groups:

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a worldwide organization of peer-facilitated support groups that help people recover from all drinking problems, including addiction, dependence, and alcohol use disorder (AUD).

12-Step Programs

As its title suggests, AA’s 12-Step Program provides 12 guiding steps to overcome addiction. Hailed as a standard for recovery, 12-step programs aim to help participants admit their addictions, examine their past errors, and learn to improve with a new code of behavior.

SMART Recovery

Self-Management and Recovery Training, like AA, aims to support individuals who choose to give up and abstain from alcohol and substance use. The program operates on current scientific knowledge of addiction to treat it.


Al-Anon is an international mutual support program for individuals affected by someone else’s drinking. Al-Anon allows participants to share everyday experiences and enforces principles, enabling friends and family members of alcoholics to bring positive changes to their situations.


Alateen is a fellowship designed for teenage relatives (13 to 18) and friends of alcoholics. Teenagers in the program attend support groups with other family members in similar situations.

Women for Sobriety

This self-help group was founded for women (and those identifying as women) in 1975. The group is dedicated to helping women through the addiction recovery process.

Research-Based Resources for Alcohol Use Disorder

Help is always available to those in need. Here are some of the best research-based online resources and organizations that can help with recovery:


BetterHelp can Help

They’ll connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor

Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

Better Help Logo

Commonly Asked Questions and Valuable Resources

Below, you'll find frequently asked questions, defined terms, and helpful resources on alcoholism.

What Is a Social Drinker?

Social drinking is deemed acceptable because it isn’t disruptive and doesn’t often lead to behavioral health problems. However, social drinkers are still at risk of developing substance abuse disorders.

The 5 Stages of Alcoholism

The five stages of alcoholism include the:

  1. Pre-alcoholic stage
  2. Early-stage alcoholism
  3. Middle-stage alcoholism
  4. End-stage alcoholism
  5. Recovery

In identifying these stages, individuals can seek the appropriate help from treatment facilities and stop drinking.

General Standard Drink Measurements

In the US, a standard drink consists of 14 grams of pure alcohol, equal to about 0.6 fluid ounces or 1.2 tablespoons. Usually, one drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.

Content levels vary according to the type of beverage consumed. Check the label of each alcoholic beverage to calculate exact percentages.

Alcohol Proof

Alcohol proof is a measure of the alcohol content in a beverage, typically expressed as twice the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV), where 100 proof is equivalent to 50% ABV.

Each spirit varies in proof values due to factors, such as:

  • Unique brand recipes
  • Distillation
  • Fermentation process
  • Aging
  • Dilution

Different Types of Alcohol

Alcohol exists in various forms and can be distilled or undistilled. Heating the fermented plant matter at high temperatures to generate collected and bottled steam produces distilled alcohol. 

Undistilled alcohol is made by fermenting sugar, plant matter, and yeast with water and heat to produce ethanol as a byproduct.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?

Alcohol metabolites remain for up to 80 hours after your last drink. They stay in your body through your: 

  • Blood
  • Urine
  • Saliva
  • Sweat
  • Hair
  • Breath

The body purges alcohol at a rate of about 0.015 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood each hour. Blood alcohol levels of 0.20 will take between 12 and 14 hours to leave the body.

However, heavy drinking often leads to changes in metabolism. 

What Is EtOH (Ethanol)?

EtOH stands for ethyl alcohol or ethanol, a purer form of alcohol. Ethanol is commonly used as a solvent in industrial and consumer products. EtOH refers to alcoholic beverages, especially those distilled from grain substances.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Definition

BAC measures the alcohol (ethyl alcohol or ethanol) in a person’s bloodstream. It reflects the speed by which the body absorbs, distributes, metabolizes, and excretes the substance.

The effects of alcohol on the body will depend on the BAC. The higher the BAC, the more consequential the effects are on someone’s body.

Lethal BAC

A blood alcohol content between 0.31% and 0.45% can be life-threatening. On average, the liver can only metabolize approximately one standard alcoholic drink per hour. The higher the BAC, the more intense (and sometimes more dangerous) the effects of alcohol. 

Problem Drinking vs Alcoholism

Problem drinking occurs when you start drinking too much—often for the wrong reasons. Not everyone who has a drinking problem is considered an alcoholic. Likewise, not every alcoholic is at the same level of alcoholism.

Why Is Alcohol So Deadly?

Alcohol is thrice as harmful as cocaine or tobacco, killing more people than all drugs combined. As little as one night of binge drinking can result in more than what the liver and body can handle.

Can a Blood Test Show Heavy Drinking?

Blood tests can detect heavy drinking by indicating elevated levels of specific biomarkers, including gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), and carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT). 

Alcohol Intoxication

The legal definition of alcohol intoxication is a BAC of 0.08% or above. The level of intoxication depends on how much alcohol has been consumed.

Symptoms of alcohol intoxication include 

  • Slurred speech
  • Reduced coordination
  • Impaired judgment
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness 

Alcohol Tolerance

Alcohol tolerance occurs after consistent, continued drinking leads to a lesser effect. People develop tolerance when their brain functions adjust to compensate for the disruption caused by alcohol in their behavior and bodily functions.

With time, consistent drinking can change the way certain brain chemicals function. It is also a chronic disease that makes it easy to relapse.

Alcohol Overdose

An alcohol overdose or alcohol poisoning (intoxication) is a potentially life-threatening condition. It occurs from drinking large amounts of alcohol over a short period and requires immediate medical attention.

Why Does Alcohol Make You Drunk?

Alcohol makes you drunk by impairing the central nervous system and slowing down brain activity and neurotransmitter function. These can lead to altered perception, impaired coordination, and changes in behavior and mood.

While ethyl alcohol is safe to consume in small or moderate doses, it’s still an intoxicating agent.

Why Do Alcoholics Drink?

There is no simple answer to why alcoholics drink. Some people are more susceptible to addiction genetically. Others may experience mental health disorders and are more likely to self-medicate with alcohol.

Self-Medicating With Alcohol

Self-medicating is the wrongful use of drugs, alcohol, or any other substance to manage the troubling symptoms of a mental health disorder or other illness. People who self-medicate may have other health conditions, like

  • Cancer
  • An injury
  • A mental illness
  • Chronic pain

Alcohol Allergies/Intolerance

Alcohol allergies occur when the body creates antibodies to fight off a ‘perceived threat’ caused by compounds found in alcohol.

Alcohol-Related Deaths

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive drinking is the culprit behind more than 95,000 deaths in the United States yearly, equating to 261 deaths daily.

Is Beer Bad For You?

Moderate beer consumption has potential health benefits due to its antioxidants and specific nutrients. Still, excessive or chronic consumption can lead to various health problems, including: 

  • Liver damage
  • Weight gain
  • Increased risk of certain cancers
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Addiction

Does Alcohol Dehydrate You?

Drinking alcohol puts you at a higher risk of dehydration due to its diuretic effects. Excessive urination causes your body to lose vital electrolytes such as sodium, calcium, and chloride. The higher the alcohol content, the greater this effect will be.

Canadian Alcoholism Resources

In 2013, almost 80% of Canadians drank alcohol in the past year, with alcohol-related deaths constantly increasing. Many treatment options have been available to combat alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) in Canada.

UK Alcoholism Resources

Since the 1950s, alcoholism rates in the UK have more than doubled. There has also been an increase in alcohol-related deaths, mental health problems, and hospital admissions.

Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Awareness Month occurs in April and advocates for the treatment of AUD. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) created the month to reduce stigmas and change societal attitudes about AUD through education, meetings, and workshops led by specialists.


Thinking about Getting Help?

BetterHelp offers affordable mental health care via phone, video, or live-chat.

Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

Better Help Logo

The Link Between Alcohol Abuse and Various Communities/Demographics

The LGBTQ+ Community & Alcoholism

The LGBTQ+ community often faces social stigma, discrimination, and unfair treatment, leading to substance use disorders as a coping mechanism. Up to 25% of the LGBTQ community has a moderate alcohol dependency. 

Some treatment facilities offer specialized programs for specific demographics, including the LGBTQ+ community.

Veterans & Alcoholism

Many veterans experience PTSD with a dependency on alcohol because of the military drinking culture and unprocessed trauma. More than 1 in 3 active duty service members are binge drinkers. Fortunately, veterans can get AUD treatment through VA health insurance. 

Women & Alcohol (Health Risks & Help)

The CDC says excessive alcohol use is linked to more than 27,000 female deaths annually. About 13% of women binge drink, and about half of all adult women reported drinking alcohol in the last month—women with AUD risk developing alcohol-related liver injuries more than men.


There is no “right” way to address alcohol abuse. Instead, individuals can “curate” their road to recovery by researching the appropriate support groups and treatment programs that best suit their learning habits. 

Recovering addicts can attend individualized therapy or work alongside health professionals and family members as outpatient participants or in treatment facilities. Some facilities cater to specific demographics, such as veterans, women, and LGBTQ+ members, to foster a deeper sense of community and champion greater success.

Updated on October 10, 2023
10 sources cited
Updated on October 10, 2023
All Alcoholrehabhelp content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies.
AlcoholRehabHelp Logo
All content created by Alcohol Rehab Help is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert. However, the information provided by Alcohol Rehab Help is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.
© 2024 by Treatment Pathway LLC. All rights reserved.
Back to top icon
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram