One of the most important, difficult and intricate areas of mental health is in the field of alcoholism and addiction. Research has indicated that a vast majority of people who have alcohol abuse problems or drug abuse problems, have an underlying mental illness or significant emotional/psychological difficulty and about half of people with mental illness will be involved with drugs or alcohol at some point, usually as a form of self-medication. Alcohol abuse is difficult to treat, and there is still a good bit of controversy about causes and best approaches to alcohol abuse therapy. The goal of alcohol abuse therapy is to achieve lifelong abstinence. Among alcoholics with otherwise good health, social support and motivation the likelihood of recovery is very good with alcohol abuse therapy. Alcohol abuse therapy can begin only when the alcohol accepts that the problem exists and agrees to stop drinking. Alcohol abuse therapy has three stages of detoxification, rehabilitation and maintenance. Alcohol abuse therapy helps with all three stages; mainly rehabilitation and maintenance. Alcohol abuse therapy can include recommendations such as to avoid people places and things that make drinking seem fun etc, joining a self help group, enlisting the help of family and friends, replacing negative dependence on alcohol with a new hobby or work, and exercise. All of these are alcohol abuse therapy in order to help the alcoholic achieve permanent abstinence.
Alcohol abuse therapy is focused on modifying maladaptive behavior. People who misuse drugs and alcohol usually do so as a way of coping with experiences, memories or events that emotionally overwhelm them. Even if they had developed the proper coping strategies, people who have problems with alcohol abuse rely on the immediate gratification of the drugs and alcohol rather than facing the issues at hand. Alcohol abuse therapy which specializes in alcohol and addiction recovery will help a client set achievable short term goals in order to empower the client. Once sobriety from alcohol abuse is achieved, healthy and adaptive skills can be taught and developed and the client and the therapist can begin to explore the issues that led to the alcohol abuse and addiction, employing the new coping strategies. Together, the client and therapist will work to set longer term goals that include rebuilding damaged relationships, accepting responsibility and releasing guilt. A skilled therapist can help someone with alcohol abuse problems overcome their addiction or alcoholism and set them on the path of achieving the life they truly desire. This is what alcohol abuse therapy is all about. Quitting alcohol abuse can be extremely difficult and it can also be dangerous.