How to Find Help Now if You Don’t Have Annum

We are often asked if we provide care directly to consumers. While we don’t yet — right now, Annum is only available through select employer-sponsored health plans (if you’re interested in Annum but it isn’t available at your workplace yet, download this form you can share anonymously with your benefits department) — we are still here to help you find treatment that fits your life.

If you feel you could benefit from changing your relationship to alcohol, here are some proactive steps for you to start taking charge of your health.

1. Familiarize yourself with Alcohol Use Disorder.

Feeling uncomfortable with your relationship to alcohol? A lot of people do. It used to be that people were categorized simply as an “alcoholic” or not – that’s not true today. Visit NIAAA to learn what alcohol use disorder is. You might discover that the problem is more widespread than you thought.

2. Start keeping track of how much you drink.

Knowledge is power! Knowledge about how much you drink will not only increase your awareness about your drinking, but it will also help your provider determine if you meet the qualifications for alcohol use disorder or if you are at-risk. Keep in mind that “one drink” means many different things, depending on what you’re drinking.

Click here to learn how to measure one “standard” drink.

3. Identify your triggers.

When do you drink? And where? Is there a pattern? Understanding the triggers that make you want to drink more than you wish to is one of the most important things you can do to change your relationship to alcohol. (Learn more about identifying triggers here.)

4. Know your options.

Research shows alcohol use disorder can be effectively treated with cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and medication — and that a combination of these is most effective of all. 

5. Decide on a goal that is best for you.

Of course, it’s always best to include your provider when setting treatment goals, but initiate the process by asking yourself: Is my goal to cut back my drinking? Or do I think it’s better if I strive to quit completely? (Learn more about setting a drinking goal here.)

6. Reach out to a trusted health care provider.

Whether this is your primary care provider, a therapist or a psychiatrist, make an appointment to speak with a trained health care professional you can trust.

During your appointment, be sure to do these things:

  • Tell them what concerns you about your drinking.  
  • See what they think about your treatment goal – the right provider will be a true partner in your path to recovery.
  • Ask if they have treated heavy drinking in the past. Based on their experience and what you have shared with them, what sort of treatment plan would they suggest for you? Ask yourself: Are you on board with their plan?

7. Be patient with yourself.

Significant behavior change takes time. Don’t get discouraged by a setback – having a setback in treatment for heavy drinking is about as common as it is in treatment for asthma. The right provider for you won’t judge you. Instead, they will help you see these as learning opportunities to discover what’s working for you – and what’s not – on your journey.