" There is also growing recognition that alcohol problems come in wide varieties, driven by a complex mix of genetics, life experiences and differences in how the brain handles stress and seeks rewards. As a result, experts say, the most effective treatments are highly individualized." - Melinda Beck, "A Prescription to End Drinking," in The Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2014. Here is that article.
Excessive drinking steals time from other more productive activities. Like working toward a goal. It can trigger health problems, including the traditional hangover. And it can create hostile and blaming mindsets that can deep-six a career path.
Yet, the conventional wisdom has been that to address a drinking problem one has to become involved in the time-consuming 12-step program. If the situation is severe, then the 28 day rehab is par for the course. Research and anecdotal evidence both demonstrate those two modalities have low rates of success. Around 12-step programs the statistic floats around that about 1 in 36 is able to stay sober.
Fortunately, pushing lawyers toward what doesn't work all that well may be ending. The medical community has admitted that excessive drinking is a complex syndrome and one size doesn't fit all in treating it. Medications are available and sophisticated healthcare providers will likely recommend that you try out one or more.
The medications include:
What about 12-step programs and rehab? Those are still on the table. They too can be experimented with. Decades ago it was a 12-step program in Washington D.C. which trained me to cope with life without alcohol. The experience was awesome. A benefit is the socializing. Incidentally, the ambitious leverage that as a professional network. And Helen Brown of Cosmo advised husband-hunters to attend 12-step meetings in wealthy areas.
However, we change. The world changes. The ideology and even the socializing can become tedious. So can the need to focus on one's imperfections or character defects. Also there is too much reaching back to the past in 12-step programs.
Several months ago, I closed the door on all that. If I have a relapse, then I will go the medication route. In retrospect, the myriad "recommendations" of the 12-step program seem like killing a gnat with a nuclear bomb.