Alcohol dependency is not a failure of will or lack of strength of character, as was believed for many years. However, progress in science over the last few decades has shown us that alcoholism is rooted in both biology and behaviour, making it a ‘bio-behavioural disorder’. Biology and behaviour are two sides of the same coin, and alcohol dependency cannot be treated by just focusing on one side alone.
Another example of CBT would be teaching the patient how to respond to the triggers that might once have tempted them to drink. It could be as straightforward as learning to decline an invitation to consume an alcoholic beverage. For a casual drinker, this is not an issue at all; for someone who had an intense psychological desire to drink, saying “no” can seem like the hardest challenge in the world, but that is how CBT can help turn a recovering addict’s life around.