How to Help an Alcoholic Family Member?
When a family realizes that one of their members' "drinking problem" is actually alcoholism, this is a big step forward in handling the situation. Perhaps a "drinking problem" is something you talk to a person about, you ask them to improve their behavior for their own good. You suggest they cut back, not go out to bars as often. Then you wait to see what happens. And hope. But alcoholism, by definition, is a very different matter.
When there is no improvement over time, then family members - it could be a wife, a father, a brother or children - realize that the problem is really alcohol addiction. That is a problem that requires a deeper kind of help.
When a person is alcoholic, they are out of control of their drinking. When they have a glass of alcohol, they have to finish it. When there is a bottle of alcohol, it must be emptied. When a person is truly an alcoholic and they have already been given chances to stop on their own, then it is not time for more chances. It is time for an alcohol rehabilitation program.
How can family members help a person who is out of control of their drinking?
Stop hiding the problem. If you have been keeping it a secret, stop doing so. Tell other close family members, the family doctor, your family priest, others in a good position to provide real help and support. If everyone close to the scene or who can provide real help knows about it, then the problem can be faced.
- Assemble support. Plan to talk to the alcohol-addicted person with whichever family members they respect the most and who can be the calmest.
- Don't try to talk to the person when he or she has been drinking or when they are highly stressed. Find a time when they are sober and as untroubled as possible. For most drinkers, this is early in the day.
- As a calm, non-accusative team, confront the person with the damage being caused to the person, the family and other areas (job, business, finance, community, career) by the drinking. Be specific but as patient and uncritical as you can be. However, do not back down or sympathize.
- If this is the first time you have confronted the alcoholic on their behavior, then you can consider whether or not to give them a chance to quit drinking on their own. If the drinking has gone on for some years, it is practically certain that the body of the alcoholic will be so addicted to alcohol that the person will be unable to quit on their own.
- If the person has already been given a chance to quit and has failed and perhaps also provided plenty of excuses as to their failure, then this is the time to talk about an alcohol rehab facility.
- If the alcoholic refuses to talk about going to rehab, the family will have to agree on the next steps to take. They may include refusing to bail the person out of legal, financial, professional or personal problems. If the person has been being housed for free, the family may have to agree to refuse to provide this support if there's no trip to rehab.
- If these steps fail, then consider if there is someone else that the alcoholic considers an authority. See if that person can help convince the alcoholic to seek help.
- If all these steps fail, the next step the family should take is to contact an interventionist with experience working with an addicted person. Bring the interventionist in and give him or her all they help they request, to get your loved one to agree to get help.
These steps all lead up to one thing: The arrival of the addicted person at an alcohol recovery program. Alcoholism cannot be treated at home. It is best treated at a facility where the addicted person cannot get their hands on alcohol, where they have 24-hour supervision.
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The Narconon Alcohol Recovery Program
On six continents, in dozens of locations around the world, the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program helps alcoholics recovery a lasting sobriety. The Narconon program offers much more than just an environment where a person learns to discipline themselves to not drink. At a Narconon drug and alcohol recovery center, alcoholics have a chance to really handle the causes of their addiction.
Narconon centers have interventionists they work with to help bring in a person who needs alcohol rehab to save their life. Contact Narconon to find an interventionist who can help in your area.
Starting on the Road to Recovery
Recovery starts with remedying the poor nutritional state of most alcoholics. When a recovering person starts receiving calming minerals and vitamins to replace those destroyed by alcohol abuse, they start feeling healthier and even hopeful that recovery is possible.
Recovery then moves on to the next phase: Helping the addict flush out all the residual alcohol and drug toxins that become lodged in the fatty tissues of the body. Normal measures like eating well or just taking vitamins do not cause this type of detoxification. The Narconon New Life Detoxification Program is a precisely controlled program of nutrition including healthy oils, vitamins and minerals, plus exercise and a dry heat sauna. The synergistic effect of these factors creates an environment in which the body can flush old toxins that have been shown to be involved in triggering cravings.
When detoxification is complete, the former alcoholic normally feels he or she has taken a large step forward in their recovery. They normally feel younger, fresher and more alert.
With these improvements in hand, they can proceed with counseling and life skills training to restore the integrity and good sense that will keep them alcohol free for a lifetime.
Contact Narconon at to find an alcohol rehabilitation center near you today.
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