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Talking to Your Doctor About Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Talk openly and often with your healthcare provider. It will help you make the best choices for your care.

Tips for Getting Information

Here are some tips that will help you talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask. They may also be able to provide more details to the doctor.
  • Write down your questions so you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get. Make sure you grasp what you are hearing. Ask for help, if needed.
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions. Ask where you can learn more. You have a right to know.

Questions to Ask

About Alcohol Use Disorder

  • Do you think I have a problem with drinking?
  • Have you helped other people with AUD?
  • Where can I get help for AUD?
  • I’m worried that I’ve done damage to my body because of my drinking. Do I need to have any tests done?

About Your Risk of Health Problems from AUD

  • Do my health problems have anything to do with my drinking?
  • Am I putting my health at risk if I do not make changes to my drinking?

About Treatment

  • What medical and nonmedical treatments are available for AUD?
  • What are the benefits, risks, and side effects of medical treatments for AUD?
  • How do the treatments work and how long will they take?
  • Do you know of any support groups for people with AUD?
  • Do you know of any mental health professional that treats people who have AUD?

Questions to ask mental health professionals:

  • What type of training and how much experience do you have in treating AUD?
  • What is your approach to treatment?
  • How long will treatments last?
  • How long and frequent are the sessions?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • What changes can I make to reduce my use of alcohol?
  • Is there anything I can do to recover more quickly?

About Outlook

  • What are my chances of successful recovery?
  • What if I start drinking again?
  • What are my chances of reversing any damage I may have done to my body because of AUD?
REFERENCES:

Alcohol use disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/alcohol-use-disorder. Accessed September 3, 2020.

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/alcohol-withdrawal-syndrome. Accessed September 3, 2020.

Day E, Copello A, Hull M. Assessment and management of alcohol use disorders. BMJ. 2015 Feb 19;350:h715.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). American Psychiatric Association; 2013.

Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD  Last Updated: 2/19/2021