If you have been watching a loved one suffering from alcohol addiction, you might be at your wits’ end about what you can do to help them.
Get FREE Confidential Advice Regarding Addiction
Speak to us for FREE and confidential advice regarding addictions, whether its you or a family member/friend. You are not alone.GET IN TOUCH TODAY
Rehab can be one way to help anyone with an addiction. It is the single most effective kind of treatment for serious drug and alcohol addictions, but you cannot force a person to go. Even if you could, it would be far less likely to be successful.
A large part of rehab involves exploring the root causes and problem behaviours associated with the addiction. The person with the addiction really needs to face up to their problem, acknowledge it and realise that they need help to break free from it. Friends, family members and other loved ones can certainly help in this regard.
If the person realises that they have a problem but seems unsure what to do next, or lacks the capability, organisation or drive to take things further, you can also help with the practicalities of getting them into rehab.
Know Your Options
It helps to learn a bit about your options, so that you can advise your loved one and help to get the ball rolling as soon as they agree to get help. There are plenty of sources of information available online, charities can provide free, confidential advice and your GP is always a good place to start.
One option involves the drug and alcohol services provided via the NHS. The main benefit is that this type of treatment is free, but there are also several important drawbacks to be aware of.
Resources are often stretched and there may be waiting lists involved. NHS treatment is almost always offered on a community-based or outpatient basis, which is typically far less effective at successfully treating addiction. It can still be valuable for many people though and a GP referral to the drugs and alcohol service can help get the ball rolling quickly.
Community services and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous can also be very useful but residential rehab remains the most effective way to treat addiction.
Unlike community-based treatment, it takes you away from your usual triggers and temptations and places you in a safe, secure environment where you can really concentrate on your recovery. You will have access to round the clock care (including a medically supervised detox if needed) and a tailored programme of treatments and therapies designed to address every aspect of your addict ion and substance misuse.
Approaching Private Rehabs
If your loved one does decide they need help and that rehab might be the best option, it’s important to find the right one. This could be one local to you but it’s just as important to make sure the treatment programme and facilities are suited to their own unique needs and requirements.
At Action Rehab, we work with a wide range of rehab places around the UK and overseas. We can answer any questions you might have about the whole rehab process and how it works, as well as pairing you with a centre that is right for you and your loved one.
Steps to Take if They are Resistant to Rehab
If your loved one is resistant to the idea or rehab, or any other treatment, you may have to try to convince them that this is in their own best interests. This may have to start with getting them to face up to their addiction and the fact that they need expert help to deal with it.
Alcoholism is often accompanied by denial and people with an addiction issue may be unwilling to admit the extent of their problem, or even that one exists at all. It can be difficult to know how to broach this subject and the best way to talk about it when you do, but there are some things you can bear in mind to make things easier. If all else fails, an alcohol intervention may be needed in order to get the person to face up to their addiction.
How to Talk to a Loved One About Addiction
Living with an alcoholic or watching them harm themselves and others with their drinking can be very difficult. Alcohol addiction is usually accompanied by problematic behaviour and tempers can easily flare.
It can be tempting to raise issues – and voices – while drunken behaviour is occurring or in the aftermath of it. This can be counter-productive though, putting the drinker on the defensive. It is generally far better to approach them calmly when they are sober and to offer support rather than condemnation.
Let them know that you want to help and are there for them but don’t try to force things too quickly. The other person may need some space and time to process things, especially if this is the first time the subject has been seriously discussed.
There can be a delicate balance between being supportive and not enabling your loved one’s drinking. You should generally avoid funding or supplying them with alcohol and certainly avoid drinking with them. It can also be counter-productive to take on their responsibilities in areas such as housework or child-minding, even if it looks like they’re struggling to cope.
Staging an Intervention
If none of this convinces the person to seek help, an intervention may be the best way to get them to face up to their drinking problem. This is an event where people close to the alcoholic can clearly tell them the impact their drinking has had on them.
It can be extremely powerful but an intervention that is not carefully planned and carried out can easily get out of control, with recriminations and defensiveness. It is generally best to get a trained counsellor or therapist with intervention experience involved, who can help plan the event and make sure it stays on track.