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Therapy and Treatment for Alcoholism: What to expect?

Alcoholism is a treatable disorder. Seeking professional help for alcoholism and following the right alcoholism counselling with an expert alcohol counsellor can accelerate recovery. Personalised alcoholism counselling and treatment are necessary as alcohol dependence syndrome impacts each person in their own way and the causes of alcoholism differ from person to person.

Cadabams, the most trusted mental health institution, offers customised plans from a multispeciality team of addiction psychiatrists, psychologists, alcohol counsellors, physicians who work round the clock and are with you every step of the way. We offer world-class evidence-based treatment that is fit for all stages and types of alcoholism.

Our experienced team has used CBT, DBT, holistic and alternative therapy, group therapy, and family therapy over the last 28 years to provide solution-oriented alcohol treatment plans. Our psychiatrists and psychologists offer you a recovery process that will help you commit to sobriety and remain sober so that you will be less likely to relapse in the future. 

Talk to our psychiatrists and psychologists on the best-suited program for you.

What is Alcoholism? 

Alcoholism is a chronic disorder in which a person craves alcohol and is unable to control their drinking habit. This uncontrollable craving and harmful drinking patterns affect their daily functioning and can even give rise to physical and biological concerns. Alcoholism affects mental health and can cause problems with family, friends, and work. Also known as alcohol dependence syndrome, it is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. 

Building Tolerance 

After chronic alcohol abuse, a person with alcoholism (alcoholic*) needs to drink greater amounts to get the desired effect. This process is known as tolerance. Tolerance means consumption of a constant amount of alcohol produces a lesser effect due to alteration of the brain's chemistry. Due to this, the alcoholic ends up drinking more and spends more resources on procuring alcohol causing alcohol and alcoholism to slowly take control of their lives.

Withdrawal effects and Alcoholism

People with alcoholism experience unpleasant effects when they do not consume alcohol called withdrawal symptoms. Prolonged alcohol abuse makes a person alcohol dependent. When the alcoholic* suddenly stops drinking, it results in withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal may perpetuate alcohol abuse and sustain alcoholism. Alcohol withdrawal includes some of the following symptoms-

  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Headache
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Fever and sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Confusion

Symptoms of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is one of the hardest disorders to identify. While some symptoms of alcoholism may not be easy to discern, other symptoms are easy to recognise. 

When Casual Drinking Turns to Alcohol Abuse

One of the main reasons why alcoholism is hard to recognise is because alcohol consumption is socially acceptable, unlike other psychoactive substances. However, the symptoms of alcoholism are very different from casual social drinking. When a person develops alcoholism they experience several harmful effects on their social, psychological, and physical health.

How to identify an alcoholic*?

Most people who have alcoholism show many of these signs. If you or someone close to you is experiencing most of these symptoms of alcoholism, seek professional help immediately. 

  • Experiencing temporary blackouts or lapses in memory post-consumption
  • Being irritable and exhibiting extreme mood swings
  • Experiencing tremors 
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking for long periods or consuming lesser quantities of alcohol 
  • Developing illnesses linked to alcohol consumption like alcohol ketoacidosis or cirrhosis
  • Avoiding contact with close friends and family
  • Experiencing difficulty in daily functioning - decreased interest in social interaction, school/work performance 
  • Developing an unhealthy tolerance for alcohol 
  • Lack of “hangover” symptoms following consumption
  • Drinking in secrecy and cooking up excuses to drink
  • Experiencing alcohol cravings
  • Increase in quantity of alcohol consumption or frequency of consumption
  • Drinking at inappropriate times such as immediately after waking up, or while at work
  • Excessive lethargy, wanting to stay home, depression, and other emotional issues

Effects of Alcoholism

Alcoholism can affect all aspects of an alcoholic's* life and the lives of people close to them. These effects are wide-ranging and can deteriorate the well-being of everyone involved. The right alcoholism counselling addresses all these aspects and works towards reducing the burden of guilt, stigma, and shame that are wrongly associated with alcoholics* and their loved ones.

Stigma of Alcoholism



The stigma of alcoholism can prevent many people from seeking help or accepting that they have an illness. The stigma of alcoholism stems from the belief that alcoholism is a result of the weakness of character. Stigma can cause discrimination, social withdrawal, decreased opportunities, low self-esteem, decreased functioning unwillingness to seek treatment for their alcoholism, etc.

Effects of Alcoholism on Family 

Alcoholism has been known to affect family dynamics and damage relationships.  Families of people with alcoholism often struggle to create emotional bonds due to economical strains and added stressors. They often isolate themselves from the extended family or society due to the stigma of alcoholism. Family members also become prone to mental illnesses owing to the individual with alcoholism.

Effects of Alcoholism on Self

Alcoholism can severely affect the alcoholic*. Internalised stigma may cause them to develop anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and social withdrawal. Persistent alcohol abuse also causes bodily damage and increases the risk of several diseases. Stigma and alcohol withdrawal effects prevent them from reverting and cause them to continue alcohol abuse. 

Risk factors of Alcoholism 

Alcoholism is caused by an interaction of different factors. Scientists are yet to determine the exact cause of alcoholism. However, we know that there are some risk factors for alcoholism. Alcoholism is caused by both biological and environmental factors. A good and experienced alcoholism therapist and alcoholism psychiatrist tackle all the causes and risk factors in their alcoholism care plan.

Biological Causes of Alcoholism

Genetics and physiology play a big role in alcoholism. Several studies have found that alcoholism is genetic and a family history of alcoholism increases the chances of others in the family developing alcoholism. Metabolic changes can also make one prone to alcoholism.

Psychological Causes of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is more prone in certain personality types like Antisocial Personality Disorder and in people with personality traits like neuroticism. A history of other mental illnesses can escalate the possibility of developing alcoholism. 

Environmental Causes of Alcoholism

Social and cultural norms can affect the chances of developing alcoholism. If the individual is exposed to a lot of stress, is from homes that partake in problem drinking or is exposed to alcohol at an early age, they are more likely to have alcoholism.

Alcoholism Diagnosis 

Diagnosing alcoholism involves several steps. It is important to understand and address individual differences in alcoholism. The right alcoholism counselling and alcoholism care plan starts with a detailed diagnostic procedure. A well-rounded diagnostic procedure ensures that all aspects of alcoholism counselling can be successfully managed.

Early diagnosis of alcoholism is essential. It ensures that the individual with alcoholism does not have to face the long-lasting effects of alcoholism. When alcoholism is diagnosed in the early stages, it is easy to have a successful recovery.

Diagnostic Procedure

At Cadabams, our multi-facilitated team is involved in the diagnosis of alcoholism.

Experienced alcoholism psychiatrist, alcohol counsellor, and alcoholism therapist work together using clinically-approved assessments to determine the symptoms, severity, causes of alcoholism. 

Psychometric Assessments and Diagnosis

Since there is no determined cause of alcoholism, psychiatrists and psychologists conduct multiple clinical assessments that can suffice for the diagnosis of alcoholism. Our team of experts follows a clinically proven and structured process of psychometric tests and exams before confirming the diagnosis. 

Alcoholism Treatment

Alcoholism can continue throughout your life. However, with the right treatment, it can be managed and treated. Alcoholism counselling has to cater to different needs - of both the patient and the caregiver. At Cadabams, we ensure that the various aspects of alcoholism are addressed and acknowledged with proper treatment options and community support. Our experienced and multispeciality team prepare customised alcoholism care plans that focus on holistic alcoholism counselling and treatment.

Medication management

Our alcoholism care plan, in particular our alcoholism counselling boasts a strong pharmacological treatment to address the physical aspects of alcoholism like craving management and coping with withdrawal symptoms. Doctors at Cadabams - including the Psychiatrists and Physicians - provide the necessary medication management to slow down the symptoms and increase the functioning of the person with alcoholism. 

Types of Alcoholism therapy and Alcoholism Counselling 

There is more than one therapy for alcoholism. Alcoholism counselling is undeniably a vital part of the treatment process.

1. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps in altering the thought pattern, process, and behaviour of the person suffering from alcoholism. It promotes positive thinking, healthy coping strategies, stress and craving management techniques, and appropriate behaviour for alcoholism. An alcohol counsellor and therapist work with the patient and family to combat alcoholism.  

2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Derived from CBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), focuses on addressing and accepting the difficult feelings, thoughts, and behaviours that are caused by alcoholism.

A good and experienced alcohol counsellor would use this short-term and evidence-based alcoholism therapy to focus on the healthy management of emotions.

3. Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is an essential part of alcoholism counselling. An Alcohol counsellor uses this alcoholism therapy to focus on the person with alcoholism and motivate them to be involved in their alcoholism counselling. Motivational interviewing centres around ensuring that the person with alcoholism is ready to accept help.

4. Family Therapy and Caregiver Support

Conflicts or unhealthy relationships in the family can increase the chances of developing alcoholism. If these issues are not dealt with, there could be a reduction in the chances of alcoholism recovery. Our expert alcoholism counsellors address any conflicts in the family and promote the well-being of all the individuals involved while facilitating alcoholism recovery.

Caring for people with alcoholism can be frustrating and tiring. We offer alcoholism counselling and caregiver support to keep caregivers and the family content and aware so they can be the companion their loved ones need. 

5. Group Therapy

Group counselling is important for the recovery of a person with alcoholism. It helps build trust and respect for others coping with alcoholism. Group therapies help them motivate and support each other to attain long-term sobriety with the help of an expert alcohol counsellor.

6. Avoidance skills training

Avoidance skills training is a type of behavioural therapy used by alcohol counsellors to help people struggling with alcohol dependence syndrome. For recovering individuals, the threat of a relapse is grave. This training helps individuals build strong refusal and avoidance skills to prevent the chances of a relapse and promote healthy craving management techniques for alcoholism.

7. Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step programs



Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a community-based treatment program for alcoholism where peers support each other through daily meetings and discussions surrounding alcoholism counselling. This alcoholism therapy focuses on social reinforcement to help with alcoholism treatment.

8. Holistic and Alternative therapy

Several types of holistic and alternative therapies are used for alcoholism. These include yoga, guided meditation, Ayurveda, exercise among others. Cadabams uses guided meditation techniques, yoga, and exercise along with healthy diet plans to ensure a long-term recovery for people with alcoholism.

Alcoholism Recovery 

Overcoming Alcoholism- Alcohol Detox and Dealing with Withdrawal

Overcoming alcoholism can be extremely challenging because addiction is an illness that changes the brain's neurochemistry. But with our holistic alcoholism care plan, we acknowledge and address all aspects of alcohol dependence syndrome. Our alcohol detox plan is renowned and recognised.

Our team of experts - alcoholism psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, therapists, and alcohol counsellors - work with the individual with alcoholism and their loved ones to properly battle alcoholism and its withdrawal symptoms. We work tirelessly for a long-term recovery plan. 

Crisis Management 

Relapses are a part of alcoholism recovery. We work in close contact with all stakeholders involved in the case of an emergency. Our specialised crisis intervention team is trained to de-escalate tension and extend all necessary support for you and your loved one’s safety. Kindly note our emergency helpline number +919741476476 for any crisis management. 

Community and Home Mental Health Care

Community and Home Mental Healthcare

Bringing treatment to your doorstep. 

If you cannot visit us for your treatment, we will bring the treatment to your house. We offer comprehensive treatment plans from the comfort of your home.  

  • Home visit by a multispecialty team of psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians and nurses to get to know the individual.
  • Clinical assessments accepted worldwide are used to determine the type and severity of illness after consulting the family. 
  • Customised care plans are laid out focusing on long-term recovery. Physiotherapy, and fitness programs are provided based on need.    
  • Supportive services for caregivers are a priority for us at Cadabams. We offer therapies and interventions   to ensure the well-being of caregivers.

Reach out to our expert professionals for a tailored home care plan.

Talk to us now!

Your long-term recovery is our priority. With our comprehensive alcoholism counselling, we are involved in every step of the way. We offer personalised Post-Diagnostic Support for alcoholism to familiarise the patient and the family with alcoholism and alcoholism counselling. We understand that alcoholism affects everybody. Guaranteeing a healthy support system for caregivers and providing caregiver therapy is of prime importance to us.

Our treatment does not end with discharge. Our community mental health care plans for alcoholism help you remain sober. Through our Post-treatment Care services and Home Mental Care, we ensure that you continue on the road to recovery.

Alcoholism FAQs: Your Queries Answered by Our Professional

> How to quit alcohol?

Alcoholism is a chronic disorder that requires expert help. For long-term alcoholism recovery, it is important to recognise the disease and address it with professional help that includes customised medication, detoxification, and alcoholism counselling. Quitting alcohol is a long but rewarding journey.

> Is alcoholism a disease?

Alcoholism is a disease recognised by medical organisations worldwide. Also called alcohol dependence syndrome, it is the compulsive use of alcohol despite its harmful effects on their social, emotional, and psychical wellbeing. People with alcoholism gradually become dependent on alcohol for everyday functioning due to alterations in their neurochemistry.

> Can alcoholism be genetic?

Genetics factors make a person more vulnerable to alcoholism. Though there is no single gene that determines alcoholism , multiple genes influence a person’s risk of developing it. However, it is not necessary that if alcoholism runs in a person’s family that they develop it too. 

> Can alcohol addiction be cured?

Alcoholism can be treated and managed with systemic detox and comprehensive alcoholism counselling. Alcoholism recovery is highly dependent on the individual and the specific risk factors that caused alcoholism. Recovery is also dependent on protective factors, medical and psychosocial factors. However, with the right alcoholism counselling from expert alcohol counsellors, alcoholism can be treated.

> How do I know if I’m an alcoholic?

If you experience the symptoms of alcoholism, you may have alcoholism. However, it can only be determined after a proper battery of diagnostic tests are conducted. If you experience some of these symptoms, consider getting tested for alcoholism from alcoholism psychiatrists and psychologists.

> How does alcoholism affect families?

Alcoholism severely alters family dynamics and may cause damaged relationships. It leads to added stress, economic constraints, social withdrawal, increased anxiety, anger, embarrassment, concern, and guilt. It may make families want to separate from the person with alcoholism. It increases the risk of other family members developing alcoholism and mental health disorders.

> How to overcome alcoholism on your own?

If diagnosed with alcoholism, it is best to seek professional help. Alcoholism leads to long-term changes in the brain that are irreversible. It increases the body’s tolerance to alcohol. An alcoholic’s brain reacts to alcohol compared to someone who is not. Hence, alcoholism is best combated with comprehensive alcoholism counselling by experienced mental health professionals. 

> When should I go for alcoholism counselling?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of alcoholism like social isolation, withdrawal effects when not drinking, high tolerance, low performance in work/school due to alcohol consumption, etc, you should consider going for alcoholism counselling. Make sure you get diagnosed with alcoholism by recognised clinicians. 

> What to expect at my first counselling session for alcoholism?

Your first appointment with an alcohol counsellor will involve a detailed evaluation of your and your family’s medical history. You will have to explain the symptoms of alcoholism you are experiencing and the causes of these symptoms. The mental health professional might also prescribe imaging tests like CT scan or MRI and start developing a customised alcoholism treatment plan.

Disclaimer – We strive to treat our patients with dignity and the utmost sensitivity. We understand that addiction is a disease and that it is not a sign of weakness. The term alcoholic or alcoholism is used not in a derogatory fashion but to remain relevant to user search trends. It is important to note that addiction should be referred to as ‘substance use disorder’ to better address the effects of this psychological condition. 

Words like an addict, abuser, junkie, etc should be avoided as they place the blame on the individual. Individuals/person/people having/with gaming addiction should be used. In case you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol abuse and share a unique viewpoint on how we can improve this content for our readers, please reach out to us at info@cadabams.org

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Why Cadabams?

We use our 28+ years of expertise to ensure that you get the treatment you need and deserve. Our multispecialty team of psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, and physicians continually works with you and your family members to ensure a well-rounded and holistic alcoholism treatment.

With state-of-the-art infrastructure, experienced professionals, and strong community support, we offer world-class evidence-based treatment that is fit for all stages and all types of alcoholism. As pioneers in private behavioural healthcare services, we pride ourselves on our renowned psychotherapy,  pharmacotherapy, neurofeedback, and community-based treatment for alcoholism.       

Alcoholism is a disorder that is best combated with the support of trained professionals. Our programs help you or your loved one recover by using the top therapeutic interventions used worldwide. Our high-quality and comfortable facilities, qualified mental health professionals, caregiver support plans, post-diagnostic support, post-care support and crisis intervention ensure that all your needs are met. At Cadabams, we care for you.

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Therapy and Treatment for Alcoholism: What to expect?

  • Irritability
  • Tolerance
  • Withdrawal

doctors | Therapy and Treatment for Alcoholism: What to expect?

Dr B. R. Madhukar

Dr Madhukar BR
MBBS, DPM (NIMHANS), DPM (IRELAND), DPM (UK)

Medical Director & Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr. Vishal Kasal

Dr Vishal Kasal
MBBS (Psychiatry), M.D.(Psychiatry)

Consultant Psychiatrist

Suhita Saha
M.A. M.Phil in Clinical Psychology (RINPAS)

Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Aparna Rani
M.A (Psy), M.Phil - Clinical Psychology (RINPAS)

Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Services and Facilities

Overcoming an addiction to alcohol can be a long and bumpy road. If you are willing to get the support you need and ready to stop drinking you can recover from alcoholism no matter how bad the addiction is or how powerless you feel. Most people with alcohol problems do not decide to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking habits overnight. However, once you have made the decision to change, the next step is to seek help as some people can stop drinking on their own while others need medical supervision in order to withdraw from alcohol safely and comfortably.

There’s no magic bullet or single treatment that works for everyone. Everyone’s needs are different, so it’s important that you find a program that is right for you. Alcohol addiction treatment program should be customized to your unique problems and situation.

doctors talk | Therapy and Treatment for Alcoholism: What to expect?