It can be scary watching someone you love struggle with alcoholism. Whether it’s a spouse, sibling, child, or another family member, watching someone you love struggle with alcoholism can leave you feeling helpless and frustrated.
Trying to get your family member the alcohol treatment they need can be a challenge in itself, especially if your loved one is unwilling to admit they have a problem with alcohol. If you are concerned that a loved one has a problem with alcoholism, what steps should you take to get them into alcohol treatment?
Get Buy In
Before you can get your loved one into alcohol treatment, you first need them to admit they have a problem. Trying to convince your family member to enter alcohol treatment when they are in denial or unwilling to enter treatment will be ineffective. Your loved one needs to want help and be willing to participate in alcohol addiction treatment in order to have a complete and successful recovery.
Talk to Them
Don’t ever assume that someone close to you has a problem with alcoholism. If their behaviors suggest to you that they have a problem, try talking to them about your concerns. Doing so in a non-confrontational and non-judgmental manner may get them to open up and admit that a problem exists more quickly. Let them know that you are there to offer your support and to help them.
Have an Intervention
If your loved one will not admit to having a problem with alcohol, no matter how many times you’ve tried, you may need to have an intervention. A professional interventionist can help you figure out the best way to approach your family member, and can organize and lead a proper intervention. You can attempt to have an intervention on your own, but a professional interventionist can provide you with successful techniques.
Do Your Research
Before talking to your loved one about entering alcohol treatment, do some research yourself on day, residential, and outpatient alcohol treatment programs to get a feel for what’s available. This way you have solid information on treatment and therapy to present to your family member, which may make them feel more secure in their decision to enter alcohol treatment.
Make Sure You’re Supported
When you have someone close to you who is struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s important to get support for yourself as well. Be sure to find an alcohol treatment program that offers family support in the form of a family support group, family therapy, or a regular family program. This will give you a chance to deal with your own issues related to your loved one’s addiction and provide you the tools needed to better support your loved one in their recovery.
Support groups offered through Al-Anon, which was created to offer support to friends and families of people with alcohol addictions, may also be a good resource for you. These groups can provide you support from people who are going through the same (or similar) experiences as you.
Getting a family member to enter alcohol treatment isn’t always easy, and it may take longer than you’d like. Try not to get frustrated during the process and remember that you are doing it to help them lead a long, healthy, and productive life.