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According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 7 million people in the United States have an untreated alcohol problem, but only 1.2 percent believe they need treatment. This means that there are many people in denial about their drinking problem, which affects not only themselves, but their friends, families, jobs and society as a whole. Learn how to help an alcoholic.

How To Help An Alcoholic

It can be hard to deal with a loved one’s alcohol problem. It is easier to ignore it than to confront the person. However, ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Most people cannot quit an alcohol addiction on their own. It often takes treatment and support from friends and family in order to quit drinking and say sober in the long term.

This means that you will likely need to help your loved one get treatment. Confronting the person and discussing their alcohol problem is not the easiest thing to do; however, it needs to be done before the problem gets worse. Once the person has severe medical problems or starts getting in trouble with the law, the damage is usually harder to fix.

You should discuss your loved one’s problem with them when they are not drunk. Let them know that you care about them and want to help them. Offer to call a treatment facility and enroll. Be their source of support. If they refuse, let them know that you will not enable their addiction. No matter how hard you try, you cannot force someone to quit using alcohol. It must be their choice.

Supporting the Alcoholic in Recovery

If your loved one does decide to enter private treatment, be sure to support them every step of the way. If you are allowed, visit them during treatment and keep in touch through letters and phone calls. Having someone who loves and cares for them will give them motivation to complete treatment and live a clean and sober life.

It is important to know that recovery is a life-long process. Your loved one will not be healed in a rehab. Addiction is a chronic brain disorder that can be treated; however, there are many triggers that can lead to cravings and relapses. Your loved one may need to undergo treatment multiple times in order to get their addiction under control.

Dealing with a loved one’s alcoholism can be overwhelming. It may help you to get support of your own so you can see learn from other families that are struggling with their loved one’s alcohol problem. There are free support groups, such as Al-Anon, that can help. You can also lean on friends and counselors for support.

Types of Alcohol Treatment

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are many types of treatment available for those with an alcohol addiction. They include the following:

  • Detoxification
  • Counseling
  • Medication (oral or injected)
  • Treatment for medical/psychological problems
  • Support groups

Researching Alcohol Treatment Programs

There are a wide variety of alcohol treatment programs available. These include inpatient facilities, outpatient support groups, holistic treatments, alternative treatments and specialized treatment programs for teens, men, women and veterans. We can help you make the right choice. Give us a call today and we can connect you to various treatment options in your area. No matter where you live, we can find a treatment program for you.

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