Getting Help For Alcohol Addiction
Since the mid-1970s, research has pointed to a number of key principles that are necessary to form the basis of any effective alcoholism treatment program.12
Treatment may involve medications to ease withdrawal symptoms, therapy through a rehabilitation program to understand the addiction and change behaviors, and long-term aftercare programming such as peer support groups to help maintain sobriety and avoid relapse.12
It should also be noted that no single treatment is appropriate for everyone and plans must be reviewed and modified according to a patients changing needs.
Effective treatment will also focus on more than just a persons alcohol misuse and will seek to address other possible mental disorders.12 Research indicates that remaining in treatment for at least 90 days allows for better outcomes.13
When To Talk With A Mental Health Professional
Therapy is often an important aspect of treating alcohol addiction. A professional can help walk you through the recovery process, either one-on-one or in a group setting.
Consider talking with a therapist or counselor if you feel like you need help learning to avoid triggers and gain healthy coping skills that will help you stay away from alcohol. You should also see a mental health professional if youre dealing with another mental health condition beyond addiction, such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.
How To Talk To Someone About Their Drug Abuse
Starting a conversation with someone about their drug addiction is never easy, but its important you come from a place of compassion and understanding. Remember, no one sets out to become an addict. Drug abuse is often a misguided attempt to cope with painful issues or mental health problems. Stress tends to fuel addictive behavior, so criticizing, demeaning, or shaming them will only push your loved one away and may even encourage them to seek further comfort in substance abuse.
Discovering someone you love has a drug problem can generate feelings of shock, fear, and anger, especially if its your child or teen whos using. These strong emotions can make communicating with a drug user even more challenging. So, its important to choose a time when youre both calm, sober, and free of distractions to talk. Offer your help and support without being judgmental.
Dont delay. You dont have to wait for your loved one to hit rock bottomto get arrested, lose their job, suffer a medical emergency, or publicly humiliate themselvesto speak out. The earlier an addiction is treated, the better.
Express your concerns honestly. Emphasize that you care for the person and are worried about their well-being. Offer specific examples of your loved ones drug-related behavior that have made you concernedand be honest about your own feelings.
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Talking To Someone With A Drinking Problem
Talking to your loved one who engages in unhealthy or hazardous drinking can be extremely effective and constructive if done tactfully, with compassion, and with the proper tools. The process of confronting someone with a substance use disorder in a nonthreatening manner is known as an intervention.
Research Alcohol Rehab Programs
The type of treatment that will be most suitable for your loved one may be determined by several individual factors such as any previous attempts to quit, current alcohol use and corresponding level of physical alcohol dependence, any co-occurring medical and/or mental health conditions and any additional substance use.
Regardless of their level of alcohol misuse and whether theyre in denial, seeking the guidance of addiction treatment professionals can help you better understand how treatment works and what that may look like for your loved one.
Alcohol.org is a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers , a leading provider of addiction treatment services across the U.S. The admissions navigators at AAC are here to answer your questions about treatment 24/7 and all calls are confidential.
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What Is The Best Way To Stop Drinking
The best way to cease drinking might vary from person to person. However, for many people, its extremely helpful to put your goal in writing and to tell someone else who can help keep you accountable.
Some other recovery tips include:
- not keeping alcohol in your home
- avoiding situations where alcohol is present
- trying something new to help fill the void alcohol once held
- joining a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous
The Three Basic Steps Of Urge Surfing:
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Recognizing The Signs Of A Problem
For many people, drinking is an ordinary part of life. In most places, its legal and socially acceptable for an adult to enjoy an alcoholic drink. But since alcohols effects vary so much from one person to another, its not always easy to tell when a loved ones alcohol intake has crossed the line from responsible, social drinking to alcohol abuse. Theres no specific amount that indicates someone has an alcohol use disorder. Rather, its defined by how drinking affects your loved ones life.
In these difficult times of the global pandemic, economic uncertainty, and high unemployment, many people are drinking more than they used to in an attempt to relieve stress. While its easy to understand, that doesnt make it less of a concern. Consuming alcohol to cope with stress, deal with difficulties, or to avoid feeling bad, may be a sign that your loved ones drinking has become a problem.
Your loved one may also have a drinking problem if they:
- Regularly neglect their responsibilities at home, work, or school because theyre drinking or recovering from drinking.
- Often binge drink or drink more than they intended to.
- Lie about or try to cover up how much theyre drinking.
- Black out or cant remember what they said or did when using alcohol.
- Continue drinking even when its causing problems in their relationships with you and others.
- Use alcohol to self-medicate a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.
Dont Let Your Fear Of Not Being Able To Deal With Addiction Deter You From Having The Conversation
If someone you care about is struggling with addiction, you might avoid having the conversation because you dont think that you can handle the repercussions of their addiction. In actual fact, you dont really need to do very much to support someone who has an addiction. You mostly just need to be there with them and show you care, while professional addiction counselors trained in addiction take the lead in guiding their recovery.
While there is obviously an emotionally demanding component to supporting a recovering addict, your physical presence is really all thats needed to show them you care. Counseling, support groups, and information available online can support you through the process.
The e realization that your support can truly be life-changing can be life-changing for you and for your family. And, of course, your support can help struggling individuals transform their entire life.
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Meet With A Person Who Has Successfully Quit
You can fix a meeting with someone who has quit drinking. You can approach them to meet with your loved ones to share some ideas, views, and ways to quit drinking.
Ask them to tell about their previous experiences before drinking and what they experienced after stopping the usage of alcohol.
This step can bring a major change in the mind of your loved ones.
Offer Resources To Your Loved One
Sobriety and recovery will seem a lot less daunting if they have a starting point. Be ready to direct them to a treatment program you think may be a good fit or to online resources. There is a wealth of information about recovery, and it can be overwhelming to decide where to start in the early stages of sobriety. If you can make that task a little more manageable, your loved one is more likely to take advantage of the work youve put into their well-being.
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Alcohol Addiction Treatment At Priory
At Priory, we have rehabilitation centres throughout the UK. Typically, when a person comes to us with an alcohol addiction, they will go through an Addiction Treatment Programme, which includes the following:
- A pre-assessment meet-up with one or two members of our team, where they have a chance to look around the facility and get any questions answered
- An addiction assessment, where one of our team works with them to determine the best approach for their treatment and recovery
- Medically-assisted detoxification, so the person can rid their body of alcohol in a safe space
- A residential programme, where they have an opportunity to learn about their addiction and take steps towards their recovery, through group and one-to-one therapy, workshops, seminars and individual working time
- An aftercare programme, where the person attends weekly sessions following on from their residential stay, allowing them to continue getting the support they need as they take their first steps on their journey to recovery.
Providing Real Recovery For Real People
Here at Meta Addiction Treatment, we know loving someone struggling with alcohol abuse can be a frustrating, awkward, and emotionally draining process. But you dont have to help your friend or loved one alone. Our wide range of outpatient recovery programs can help your friend or loved one get the addiction treatment they need.
Most of our executive team members are in active recovery so we know the kind of treatment, support, and encouragement people in recovery need. Contact us today if youre looking for a recovery center led and managed by real people who are currently experiencing real, long-lasting recovery.
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Track Evidence Of A Problem
Part of addiction is denial. When confronted, the addict will usually claim that they do not have a problem, that everything is OK, that they like to party sometimes but that they can stop whenever they want to.
Make a list of all of the times you can recall that drugs affected your family members life. Write down the missed birthdays, DUIs lost jobs, fights, and hospital stays.
An addict may have excuses for all of their actions. However, by giving precise and convincing evidence of the ways drugs are impacting your family, you begin to build a case that they need help.
Make It Comfortable To Talk About The Underlying Cause Contributing To Their Drinking
Very rarely do people drink simply to drink. Often they struggle with depression or anxiety and drink as a way to self-medicate. It is important to acknowledge that you think there may be an underlying mental health issue that results in drinking. Try not to sound accusatory, especially if the person may not know they suffer from depression or anxiety. Instead, ask them gently if they think there could be a contributing cause to their drinking. Feel out their response, and go from there.
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Don’t Tell Them What To Do
You want to help your loved one with their addiction in any way you can, but you can’t control exactly how they do it. They may have unconventional ways of looking at their addiction, or maybe they’re experimenting with alternative therapies or treatments.
As long as they aren’t causing more harm to themselves or others in the process, you can show them that you respect their way of making positive changes. Rather than dictating what they must do, ask them how you can help.
For instance, saying “Why haven’t you gotten help already?,” or telling them what they “should” and “shouldn’t” do comes across as condescending. You want to avoid putting added pressure on them and instead, be a trusted friend that they feel safe with.
You should just quit cold turkey. It worked for someone else I know.
I want you to feel your best. I can help you research treatment centers or therapists if you’d like.
Never Blame Yourself For Their Drinking Problems
Alcoholics may blame their alcohol use on the people around them. This usually happens because they feel guilty and ashamed of their actions.
Denial prevents them from recognizing their problem and causes them to blame others. But it doesn’t mean that you should take the blame. You are not responsible for their actions.
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Alcoholism Treatment And Recovery
Someone with AUD may be resistant to seeking professional help. However, rehabilitation facilities are incredibly important for people suffering from alcohol addiction.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be intense, relapse is common, and the mental health support these facilities provide is invaluable. It is extremely difficult to overcome addiction without this support.
Analyze Where You Are
Its coming down to the wire. If all previous attempts have failed, our number one solution will be the last ditch effort to getting your loved one off of drugs, and giving them the health and attention they need to recover. By taking a step back and looking at the last few weeks or months of events, youll be able to better determine if your efforts are proving useful or if you need to take one more stab at this.
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Adhere To A Formal Sleep/wake Schedule
Some of the more dangerous addictive behaviors often occur in the middle of the night. People with addictions can meet dealers, overdose, stumble home from parties or get into other situations that family members have to deal with. Its no surprise, then, that some families in the recovery process struggle with sleep. Parts of their brains are ready and waiting for the next nighttime crisis to arise.
Regular sleep loss can make the recovery process more difficult. For example, studies show that sleep deprivation is linked to a range of social and emotional problems, including depression, anxiety, social withdrawal and lack of motivation. Setting a consistent, adequate sleep schedule can help you get the rest you need to function your best and cope with the challenges of having a loved one with an addiction.
Have Them Talk Openly About Their Struggles
Ask your loved one what has been causing them to drink. Let them know you are willing to understand what they are going through.
If they start to open up, listen and do not interrupt them. You do not have to agree with their behavior or try to fix their problems. Just acknowledge their situation and how it makes them feel.
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Am I Overreacting To A Substance Use Problem
If you are noticing problems in friend or family members work, health, family, finances, relationships, social functioning, legal issues, self-esteem or self-respect, you are not overreacting.
Continuing to use substances in spite of the fact that such behavior is causing problems, is a problem in and of itself. It shows that substance use has become more important than the problems it causes. Someone who is unwilling to discuss the issue or consider whether there might be a problem is a strong indicator that a problem exists.
How To Cope With A Family Members Problem Drinking
When the situation is very difficult, it can be very hard to imagine a different life. But change is possible, for you and the person drinking.
There are ways to cope better when someone close to you is drinking in a harmful way. Building your coping skills and asking for help will make a difference.
Freephone for confidential information and support.
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What Is The Goal Of An Intervention
Total abstinence from alcohol is not always the goal of an intervention or treatment process. Some people will be able to learn selective drinking behaviors and remove themselves from an alcohol abuse cycle. However, giving up alcohol for good and accepting a life of sobriety is the only way some people are able to move past addiction. For each person, a team of doctors and therapists will decide the best course of treatment and the desired outcome.
When All Else Fails Dont Use Guilt
Its very easy to mix up the thought of an ultimatum, and lecturing or guilting an addicted individual into ceasing their vice usage. Under no circumstances should you attempt to guilt them into quitting their addiction. Phrases like How could you do this to me, or anything that will garner guilt and/or shame from the individual is a surefire no-go.
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