How to Get an Alcoholic into Treatment
The decision to send a family member or friend who is an alcoholic into rehab for alcohol addiction is never an easy one to make. There may be fears related to rehab. Such as how will the person respond to being asked to go and to treatment, and how to find a rehab that will work for the person?
There are many resources that can help you or your loved one. Knowing and understanding the process a bit better can help you make an informed decision. Ultimately, the challenges that present themselves are offset by the hope that rehab will change the life of the person you love and allow your family to heal.
When it is Time for an Alcoholic into Rehab
It can be difficult to know when it is time to send a family member to rehab. However this is the first step to making that choice. You must recognize and admit there is a real problem. It can be a challenge to recognize when a loved one is drinking too much. Not just over drinking on occasion. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are a few signs to look out for to make this determination. They include:
- Missing work or school because of drinking or being hungover
- Spending lots of time drinking
- Regularly getting into dangerous situations while drinking (like driving)
- Continuing to drink even when it causes problems with family or friends
- Feeling physically sick when drinking is stopped (withdrawal symptoms)
Any alteration in behavior that causes concern or happens with regularity can point to a problem with alcohol.
Choosing a Treatment Option
When the time comes there are many options for treatment for alcohol issues. It may seem counterproductive to choose a facility or type of treatment before confronting your loved one, it is important to do the research ahead of time. For those with a mild drinking problem an out-patient facility may work well. This is a facility that is will see your loved one for group and individual sessions, often weekly, but sometimes more often.
In-patient facilities are the best for moderate to severe alcoholics. These facilities typically have a set time in which you are in a given program. Some are four or six weeks, while others last up to 12 weeks. Choosing the right in-patient facility means doing your research. Look for one that is affordable, that will meet all your loved one’s needs, and one that is out of the general area of the addiction if possible. Many times, leaving the area for just a short time can help your loved one get control over addiction.
How to Get the Alcoholic to Agree
Now that you have identified the problem and found solution options, you must convince your loved one to enter some form of rehab. Many times the alcoholic will not even realize their own problem or will actively deny it because that would be admitting a problem exists. There are a couple ways in which the subject of rehab can be addressed. These will be discussed below.
The first is to sit down and speak calmly with your loved one. If you start by asking how they are feeling and if any physical issues are occurring, then they may open up about some issues. Slowly introduce the idea that this may be linked to drinking. Your loved one may admit there is cause for concern and you can mention that rehab facilities are available. If they deny it, then it is best to leave the topic for the time being because a fight can push them into further denial.
The next step or possibly the first step if the opportunity presents itself is to discuss concerns after a big life incident such as a DUI or alcohol poisoning. This incident can open up the lines of communication and help your loved one to seek help. This can also come at a time when legal charges are filed as your loved one may be looking for a way out. Rehab can go a long way to reducing a sentence or charges. Though this is not the ideal situation, with addiction you take the opportunities as they come.
There is a chance your loved one will admit the need for help and you can support this by offering rehab options and supporting them in their decision. This is not likely for many, but is always possible.
Another option that may take one try or many is that of an intervention. Interventions should have the help of a professional and include only those who love and care about the individual. Those who cannot be supportive should not be included as they may be detrimental to the process. Review other articles to learn how to properly handle an intervention. If the intervention is successful it is best to send an Alcoholic into treatment at a rehab immediately.
Remember if your loved one refuses rehab then not all hope is lost, keep trying. Forcing someone into rehab is not usually beneficial as the person must desire help for it to be long lasting. Never use guilt to try to convince your loved one that rehab is best as ultimatums, lecturing and guilt are very ineffective and put the person on the defensive. Remain positive and analyze where you are and what the next steps are in the process. If needed, set boundaries and take some time for yourself to relax and regroup before trying again.
If your loved one is ready to attend rehab then consider DARA. DARA has locations around the world with programs ranging from four to twelve weeks in length. DARA has been created for those seeking a comprehensive, yet discreet program that cannot be matched. The program is evidence based with a team of skilled individuals that will tailor the program to fit each individual client. All clients are expected to willingly participate in both group and individual therapeutic activities where clients will be encouraged to look at the causes and roots of their alcohol dependence. Together with staff, they will address problematic behaviors and behavioral patterns that have led to alcoholism. Through this process DARA can help to build enduring recoveries.
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