Alcohol Dependence


Carty Addiction Medicine and Internal Medicine Clinic

Addiction Medicine & Internal Medicine located in Winston Salem, NC

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An estimated 16 million people in the United States have alcohol dependence issues, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. If you have a problem with alcohol or are worried about your drinking, Brian Carty, MD, MSPH, of Carty Addiction and Internal Medicine Clinic in Winston-Salem, North Carolina can help. Dr. Carty is a leading addiction specialist who provides effective medically managed alcohol reduction programs, so call the clinic today, or book an appointment online.


Alcohol Dependence Q & A

What is alcohol dependence?

Alcohol dependence, or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a condition in which your intake of alcohol becomes excessive and compulsive. This means you feel you have to drink to function, drink large quantities of alcohol daily, and have symptoms of addiction that begin to take over your life.

Alcohol dependence is a widespread problem, but in many cases, people are unaware they are developing a dependence issue. If you aren’t sure whether your drinking is becoming a problem, consider your relationship with alcohol and how it’s affecting your life. Ask yourself whether you:

  • Regularly have a hangover
  • Find it difficult to go without a drink
  • Drink more than you intend to
  • Often feel an urge to drink
  • Have had blackouts or memory loss
  • Engage in risky behavior when drinking
  • Are drinking increasing quantities

If your drinking is affecting your relationships or family life, or interfering with your ability to do your job, and you still can’t cut down or quit, it’s time to visit Carty Addiction and Internal Medicine Clinic for help.

What treatment is available for alcohol dependence?

There are two fundamental treatment approaches for alcohol dependence, which are talk therapy and medication. A combination of both these treatment approaches is most effective for the majority of people who have alcohol dependence issues.

At Carty Addiction and Internal Medicine Clinic, treatment for alcohol dependence involves taking part in a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program. MAT uses a multi-modal approach that includes medication, counseling, and behavior modification therapies to provide a whole-person solution to alcohol dependence.

The medication used in the MAT program is naltrexone, which helps to reduce your craving for alcohol. How it does this isn’t entirely clear, but it’s likely to be a consequence of the drug preventing the increase in dopamine that makes drinking alcohol addictive in some people. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in your brain that creates the feeling of pleasure and is thought to be critical in the development of dependence and addiction.

By reducing your craving for alcohol using naltrexone and providing a program of therapy in a supportive environment, Carty Addiction and Internal Medicine Clinic’s MAT gives you the tools you need to recover from alcohol dependence. Find out more or schedule a consultation by calling the clinic today, or book an appointment using the online tool.

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