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How to manage alcoholism?

Q: My father is 49 years old and is an alcoholic. He started drinking due to some family problems when he got married. Now more than 20 years have passed but he still drinks alcohol (1 bottle/day). He has also been taking sleeping pills for more than two years now (1 to 2mg/night). He wakes up very early, sometimes as early as 2 AM. And once or twice in a year he also fights with my mother. Now a days his behaviour has become too rough and he is short tempered. This is also affecting the life of other family members in a big way. Kindly suggest some medicines to make him leave alcohol? Also suggest some doctors in Jammu and Kashmir.

A:I truly appreciate the difficult time the family must be going through because of your fathers alcoholism. It is not uncommon that if one person in the family is abusing any substance it is likely to affect the family as a whole. As you have also mentioned that your father is taking sleeping pills and has sleep related difficulties, it is imperative to have him examined completely. For one, alcohol use over a period of time results in serious health conditions. These are often associated with mental health related problems like poor stress management, anger-related difficulties, anxiety and depression. The ideal thing to do would be to consult a psychiatrist who could examine your fathers needs and refer him for appropriate medical attention. Usually a combination of medication and counselling is considered useful in dealing with such problems. Sometimes families may also benefit from joint sessions with the counsellor. Get the necessary help as soon as possible.

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