How to Overcome Alcohol Addiction

alcohol addiction

In a podcast that’s part of the University of Michigan’s The Science of Addiction series, treatment experts provide guidance

By the editors of

Even as the opioid epidemic continues to take and ruin lives at an epic pace, alcohol remains our most stubborn addiction.

Anne Fernandez, PhD, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at University of Michigan, puts it this way in the podcast “Alcohol Addiction”: “Alcohol use, and also benzodiazepines, are probably the most dangerous substances to stop on your own. Alcohol use, if you stop it cold turkey and you’re dependent, can actually kill you. And that has to do with neurotransmitters and the way the alcohol interacts with the brain. … So for individuals who drink—even probably more than a few drinks a day, if they’re drinking regularly—should really seek medical advice before stopping use to figure out if they need medications to make their detox not only safe but more likely to be effective.” The podcast goes on to outline various other strategies for overcoming alcohol withdrawal and charting a healthy path forward.

“Alcohol Addiction” is part of University of Michigan Treatment Services’ three-part series titled The Science of Addiction. The series examines the pervasiveness of substance use disorder in the U.S., noting that nearly 21 million Americans have at least one addiction.

The first episode—titled “Why Do People Do Drugs?”—starts at square one. It features Jonathan Morrow, MD, PhD, who delves into the factors that drive people do substance use. The final installment in the series will focus on how to get help for people with addiction.

The University of Michigan’s Addiction Center is a partner of in working to improve addiction outcomes.

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