Local physician Dr. Andrew Ashley will be speaking about alcohol use disorder and treatment options at an upcoming workshop Nov. 16 for Princeton community leaders.
A treatment option for alcohol use disorder that can eliminate cravings, doesn’t require abstinence and that provides stability for seeking counselling and other supports, is being championed by medical practitioners in Princeton.
While not always needed, this approach often includes the prescribing of a medication in order to eliminate cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms, giving people the choice to stop or simply reduce the amount they drink.
“Medications are just one tool in the toolbox,” said Dr. Andrew Ashley, explaining that he and his patient work together to discuss and create a care plan that’s right for the individual.
“Certain tools work better for different people, and what may be right for one person may not be for another.”
The option to try one of the several approved medications can provide freedom from cravings making it easier to connect to supports such as counselling and community resources.
“It’s also about having more than one tool in the toolbox,” said Ashley.
“Some people might want to go to a support group, get some counselling and take a medication. It really comes down to providing another option for people.”
He encourages people wondering about treatment and the new options available to visit their doctor or nurse practitioner’s office. “Way more of us struggle with this than anyone might think, and we’re here to help.”
New treatment options also offer new hope for recovery. “I meet people who wonder what’s the point in trying again,” added Ashley. “But it’s never too late, and there’s always a benefit to stopping no matter where you are in the continuum.”
In fact, many health risks, including some forms of cancer, are associated with the over-consumption of alcohol.
According to the Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines Report published in 2022, less is better – with a recommendation of no more than two drinks per sitting or 10 drinks per week for women, and no more than three per sitting or 15 per week for men.
People representing all areas of our community are invited to learn more about understanding alcohol use disorder as a medical condition, about treatment options and about the work currently taking place in Princeton.
This event will also include coming together and talking about the existing supports in Princeton, and what the community can do to promote a healthier relationship with alcohol for more people.
If you are interested in attending this free workshop or to learn more, please visit: www.cauds.org
Heather Allen is the communications director for the Canadian Alcohol Use Disorder Society, a national nonprofit, which advocates for a more effective and compassionate approach to treating alcohol use disorder as a medical condition. The organization was formed in Penticton and is proud to both collaborate with a variety of health-care organizations and to work in partnership with the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen.