Here are some additional resources on drinking.
Web-based social support
Support from family, friends, and others (who are dealing with the same issues as you) can improve your chances of success. We have written a brief article on how to get web-based support here.
- Moderation Management. Moderation Management is a unique self-help group focused on helping people achieve and maintain moderate drinking without alcohol-related problems.
- The Guided Self-Change Clinic at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale Florida uses the self-change model to provide services to people concerned about becoming healthier, losing weight, exercising more, and changing their drinking, substance use, and gambling behaviors.
- Responsible Drinking. Drs. Fred Rotgers, Marc Kern, and Mr. Rudy Hoeltzel wrote this self-help manual for members of Moderation Management (MM). This book can be useful for those interested in abstaining as well as for those interested in moderating.
- Sober for Good is for people who have decided to change their drinking and are interested in how others have succeeded. It's also helpful for people who are thinking about changing their drinking. Click here for a detailed review.
- List of beers, wines, and mixed drinks and their alcohol content.
If abstaining is your goal and you're struggling to achieve or maintain it, consider getting some professional help. Be aware though that most treatment programs in the U.S. are 12 step based.
- The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) is, as the name implies, an organization of cognitive-behavioral therapists and researchers with an emphasis on evidence-based approaches to helping people. It has a "find a therapist" feature that allows you to find someone in your area.
- Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator is published by the Federal government to help you find treatment centers near you.
- Moderation Management. While Moderation Management is supportive of moderation, it also is supportive of individuals who decide to not drink at all. They have online support groups for people interested in "doing a 30" and for people who choose long-term abstinence.
- Sex, Drugs, Gambling, and Chocolate. Dr. Tom Horvath wrote this book. He is the President of SMART Recovery and Past President of the Addictions Division of the American Psychological Association.
- SMART Recovery is a self-help group based on principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
- Sober for Good is for people who have decided to change their drinking and are interested in how others have succeeded. It's also helpful are for people who are thinking about changing their drinking. Click here for a detailed review.
- Lifering Secular Recovery
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety
- Alcoholics Anonymous. AA is the world's largest self-help organization. Volumes have been written about AA and its approach to recovery.
Feelings & Mood Disorders
If you know or suspect you have a mood disorder (e.g., clinical depression, bipolar disorder), we encourage you to seek professional help. If you're not under the care of a professional, consult your family physician. Another resource is the mental health services locator site of the Federal government.
- Mastering anxiety and phobias. This is a health report published by the Harvard Medical School.
- Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy and The Feeling Good Handbook. These two self-help manuals are based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and focus on depression and anxiety. There is a lot of scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of CBT for depression and anxiety.
- Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think
The following are client manuals used in evidence-based treatments for anxiety disorders. If you think you have an anxiety disorder, consider seeing a therapist with expertise in these areas because the programs can be challenging to complete by yourself.
- Mastery of your anxiety and panic: Third edition
- Mastery of your anxiety and worry: Second edition
- Mastering your fears and phobias
- Managing social anxiety: A cognitive-behavioral approach
- Mastery of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach Client Kit includes Client Workbook and Monitoring Forms (Treatments That Work)
- Stopping anxiety medication
- Reclaiming your life after rape
If you're searching for health-related issues on the Internet we recommend sites that subscribe to the Health on the Net Foundation (HON). Sites that subscribe to the HON agree to "respect and honor the 8 principles of the HON code of conduct.
There are three medications approved by the FDA for use with people who are trying to change their drinking: acamprosate, naltrexone, and disulfiram. There is evidence of effectiveness for all three medications. All are approved for abstinence goals.
- Acamprosate reduces withdrawal symptoms.
- Naltrexone is available in tablet form (generic) and as a once a month injection (Vivitrol). It reduces urges and cravings to drink (discussed below). However, the most common outcome in naltrexone studies is a reduction in heavy drinking. These findings have led some to consult with their physicians about using naltrexone to reduce their heavy drinking as opposed to abstaining. There is a lot of discussion of this from time to time on the Moderation Management's main online discussion group (listserv).
- Disulfiram acts as a deterrent to drinking because it causes serious physiological reactions if a person does drink. It can be effective in preventing drinking but only when it is taken as part of a daily ritual between the drinker and a concerned significant other who is supportive of the drinker's efforts to remain sober. If you're interested in this, consider seeing a therapist who has been trained in the CRA (Community Reinforcement Approach) protocol. See the ABCT link above in the Abstaining section to help you find such a therapist.
Spouse or significant other. Would you like to have a better relationship? Do the two of you need to improve how you solve the problems in a couple's life that inevitably come up? Here are two resources you may find useful.
- Making it as a Couple: Prescription for a Quality Relationship. We consider this one of the best self-help guides for couples who want to improve their relationships.
- Get Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading, and Threatening. This self-help manual helps spouses and others who are concerned about a person's drinking learn how to positively reinforce sobriety. This book was originally written to help "concerned significant others" how to motivate problem drinkers to change. We recommend it because it also is a great guide for spouses of heavy drinkers on how to help support you in your efforts to change your drinking. It also shows them how to help keep you motivated in your efforts.
- Moderation Management has an online support group for mothers.
- The Assertiveness Workbook: How to Express Your Ideas and Stand Up for Yourself at Work and in Relationships
- Moderation Management has an online support group for those interested in incorporating religious beliefs into their efforts.
Urges and Cravings
- Sex, Drugs, Gambling, and Chocolate by A. Tom Horvath. This self-help manual written by the President of SMART Recovery has several excellent chapters on identifying and managing urges and cravings.
- Oral naltrexone (generic) and injectable naltrexone (Vivitrol) have been found in numerous clinical trials to reduce urges and cravings to drink.