The treatment of alcohol addiction is probably the most common treatment among the dependancy treatments.
Everybody knows that too much alcohol is harmful. On the other hand, alcoholic drinks are a part of our culture. It is disputed whether consumption is really safe within the meaning of what is known as a J curve (a little alcohol is healthier than none, but a lot of alcohol is definitely unhealthy), or adopting total abstinence is the healthiest way to live. Especially with regard to how much alcohol affects the average life expectancy.
The decision on how much risk I am prepared to take for fun and enjoyment is something each individual must make – not only when it comes to alcohol. 

We treat patients who use alcohol in a harmful or addictive pattern with absolute discretion in individual, high intensity, multi-modal courses of treatments which apply the latest findings in addiction research. The average length of treatment is between two and three weeks. This makes our therapy concept vastly different from those in conventional therapy clinics.

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Alcohol is an excellent anxiety reliever. For this reason we often find that patients with alcohol addiction are suffering from a different underlying disease. Depression or chronic pain are often observed in the alcoholic patient. If the underlying disease is not treated there is no prospect of long-lasting success when treating the alcohol addiction.  

The goal of total abstinence from alcohol as the only option in the case of harmful or dependent consumption seems problematic: ultimately only 10% of all problem drinkers really want to become abstinent. Here lies one of he biggest problems in alcohol addiction treatments: the patient has to lie to their doctor about their intent in order to get any help at all. In most treatment centres, alcoholics who do not wish to stay 100% abstinent are seen as untreatable. Unfortunately most doctors are also unfamiliar with medication that might lead to a reduction in consumption. Often they only offer a consultation that is based purely on abstinence.  

What we do know is that in cases of high alcohol consumption a reduction in the amount that is drunk is a first step in the right direction. As early as the middle of the 1980s Belgian psychiatrist Luc Isebaert developed the Bruges freedom of choice model: patients can aim for either abstinence or reduced consumption. If patients fail to achieve abstinence they do not have to fall out of the support system but they will be encouraged towards reduced consumption. If they do not manage that, the motivation for a further attempt at abstinence increases. At the same time, any existing underlying diseases must be properly treated.  

Our approach to alcohol misuse and dependency:

Diagnosis of the alcohol addiction:

  • Is there a dependency syndrome?
  • Is there an underlying psychiatric or somatic illness, or a secondary illness?
  • How is the consumption behaviour perceived in the family and the working environment? 
  • What is the patient’s motivation? Reduction in the amount of drinking, sequential or long-term abstinence?
  • What resources are available to the patient?

Treatment of the alcohol addiction:

In the case of dependency syndrome, the first step is withdrawal on an in-patient, day clinic or out-patient basis. We usually use mainly benzodiazepines for this purpose. Withdrawal lasts three to five days, depending on the severity of the addiction.  Therapy starts during this phase.

Over the next 10 to 14 days, intensive therapeutic interventions are used to build up and strengthen motivation. We attach particular importance to psychotherapeutic medication therapy for any existing underlying illnesses (depression, anxiety disorders etc.). Our patients undergo an average of two individual therapy sessions per day. If necessary we start to use anti-craving substances such as nalmefene, naltrexone, acamprosate or baclofen.

One to two daily sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) are carried out to reduce cravings. 

The programme is complemented by customised sports and exercise therapy to promote renewed awareness of the body. 

In addition, relaxation techniques such as autogenic training or progressive relaxation are taught. 

Hypnosis and neurofeedback help further to reduce the craving and to boost self-efficacy.

Based on recent studies, we also use a special form of ketamine therapy in the treatment of alcoholism. A combination of ketamine infusions and behaviour therapy is used to overwrite the addiction memory.

We treat patients who use alcohol in a harmful or addictive pattern with absolute discretion in individual, high intensity, multi-modal courses of treatments which apply the latest findings in addiction research. The average length of treatment is between two and three weeks. This makes our therapy concept vastly different from those in conventional therapy clinics.


If you are interested in our therapy, please take a few seconds to fill out our contact form. We will set up a preliminary phone interview at your convenience to determine your individual therapy:

We regret to inform you that we will be closing our practice in Munich until further notice on Nov. 30th 2023. Please contact our clinic in Mallorca for consultations.

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