Doctors with Patients Fighting Alcoholism Should Try AA Themselves

The Partnership at recently issued a news release with their recommendation that physicians treating patients with alcohol disorders or alcoholism attend Alcoholics Anonymous or other support group meetings prior to counseling their patients to do so.

“Any doctor treating addicted people should go to at least a few AA meetings, so they can discuss it with patients in a knowledgeable way,” says Marc Galanter, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse at NYU Langone Medical Center. “It’s very experiential, and doctors should have a sense of it. They should also learn the steps of AA.”

With up to 21 million Americans with alcohol disorders, it is likely that physicians in private practice will encounter patients battling alcoholism.  And when we learn that 40% of hospital beds in the U.S. (excluding maternity and intensive care) are filled with patients with alcohol disorder-related health issues, it is certain any doctor working in a hospital will too.

One common cause for apprehension about AA is the question of religion versus spirituality. Doctors that have attended a few meetings can better prepare patients for what to expect and can help them determine if AA is the best support group or form of treatment for them. Perhaps a private, residential treatment center is the best course of action. But if a health care professional has not attended even one meeting, how can they help their patient make that determination?

When you recognize harmful patterns and seek treatment, you can increase your chances of leading a healthier life. Cliffside Malibu is here to support you in your search for an alcohol-free life. We believe you deserve to have a private, comfortable and luxurious environment as you navigate your journey to a sober life. Our center allows you to explore your mental health needs, creates a treatment plan that is unique to you and allows you to discover beneficial coping skills. To learn more about alcohol treatment at Cliffside Malibu, call (855) 403-5641.