Alcohol treatment options - adult services

If you or someone you know wants to get support with alcohol, there's lots of help available.

Here are some of the common treatment options for people with an alcohol problem. You can also find out how these options can help you to make positive changes.

Everyone’s journey from alcohol problems is different. The right treatment for you will depend on your experiences and your current situation.

All of our services are slightly different, so please contact your local service directly to discuss the support that's right for you. Typically, your options will include:

Making changes yourself

If you’re not at risk of withdrawal, you can work on cutting down or quitting alcohol yourself. We put together a list of steps you can take to address your drinking and make positive changes.

How to cut down on your drinking 

If you drink every day and notice unpleasant withdrawal effects when you aren't drinking, you shouldn’t quit alcohol suddenly. It can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Get in touch with your local treatment service to arrange a safe detox.

Groups and meetings

Making positive changes in your life is a lot easier with the help of other people. Recovery groups and meetings are a chance for people with similar experiences to help and inspire each other.

Peer support

You can take part in group sessions and meetings at most Change Grow Live drug and alcohol services. There are also lots of other options for getting group support. Some of them involve therapy that focuses on thoughts and behaviour, such as SMART recovery. Others like Alcoholics Anonymous focus on peer support from other people with similar experiences.

There are also online groups like Breaking Free Online. You can find more groups and support options further down this page.


An alcohol detox will probably be the recommended path for you if you’re dependent on alcohol. An alcohol dependency means you are drinking alcohol every day and have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you are not drinking.

The detox will be part of a bigger recovery plan, and a medical professional will oversee everything and guide you through it.

This might be an in-patient treatment at a service or medical facility, or it could be something you do at home. You might be given medication to help you with the detox, and the withdrawal in particular.

A detox isn’t the end of treatment – it’s usually the beginning of your recovery. You’ll probably need to follow it up with regular support, whether that’s one-to-one meetings, counselling, or joining a support group.


If you’re dependent on alcohol, you might be prescribed medication that can help you manage withdrawal symptoms as you cut down your drinking, help with managing cravings, or help you to stop drinking completely.

These medications work in different ways, and most of them will work best along with other treatments, such as therapy or group support. Speak to your doctor to find out more about medication, or get in touch with your local service.

Our services in Scotland

We don’t prescribe any medication at our Scottish services, but we work closely with partners in the NHS. We will make sure you can access any prescribing and other health services you need to reach your goals.


Find your local service

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