Sarah remembers feeling anxious as a child, as if there was nowhere she fit in. That changed in high school when she discovered that drinking beer made her feel confident and at ease.
Throughout college she had periods of binge drinking followed by weeks of abstinence, the abstinence was always precipitated by what she now thinks of as missed opportunities for intervention--the final exam missed, the job interview slept through, due to alcohol use.
This pattern continued into her twenties and thirties, then, following a disappointment in her professional life and uptick in consumption, Sarah’s friend told her that she was concerned because Sarah was drinking a bottle of wine every night and becoming increasingly depressed.
With her friend’s support, Sarah reached out to her primary care physician for an assessment and referral to substance use disorder treatment. Her treatment plan included two years of naltrexone, which she initiated during an Intensive Outpatient Program, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Today, Sarah is healthy and thriving. She continues to attend SMART meetings for recovery support, and maintains regular contact with her behavioral healthcare provider for ongoing follow-up.
Naltrexone (two years)
SMART recovery (ongoing)