Drunk driving is taken very seriously in North Carolina. If you’re subject to a drunk driving charge, your problems may extend beyond just the legal. In many cases, people with drunk driving charges must also seek treatment for an alcohol disorder, which can impact your professional life as well as interpersonal relationships with friends and family. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism offers the following guide in this case.

The first step is to identify whether you have a drinking problem. You can do this by looking for common signs of alcohol addiction or abuse. For instance, do you often crave a drink, especially in the morning? Have you experienced withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability and shakiness, when you stop drinking? Do you want to stop or cut back on drinking but find that you can’t? These are all signs that you may have a drinking problem.

The next step is to visit a physician, who will start by performing a general exam. Your doctor will probably ask about your drinking pattern, which provides insight into whether you have a problem, as well as its severity. From here you and your doctor can develop an appropriate plan of treatment.

There are a few different types of treatments available to you. Alcohol counseling can be quite effective, as it can help you identify the reasons why you drink and allow you to develop healthier coping abilities. This can include one-on-one cognitive therapy, group therapy, or therapy involving loved ones, such as parents or spouses. You may also be prescribed a medication to help control cravings. Medications can be used alone or they can be used in conjunction with another type of treatment.