10 Minutes

Edited & clinically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
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Living with an alcoholic can often make you hopeless. It can take over your life and force you to constantly play the role of a “fixer,” someone who’s always picking up their messes. Most alcoholics leave a trail of wounded relationships, broken promises, and plenty of financial issues in their wake. Emotional and physical abuse becomes a norm in such relationships, forcing you to think about leaving them. From people looking in from the outside, the decision might seem easy, but deep down, you know it isn’t.

If your partner, friend, or someone close to you seems to be struggling with alcohol, there are ways to help them out. This guide will help you understand alcoholism, identify it, and support your partner through it towards recovery.

Many signs and symptoms commonly occur in all types of addiction. Identifying them can help you understand if your loved one is an alcoholic and give you enough confidence to discuss it with them:

Your loved one might be suffering from an alcohol addiction if:

  • They are frequently intoxicated.
  • They have suffered negative consequences due to drinking, i.e., losing their job or driver’s license.
  • Their physical and mental health is suffering due to excessive alcohol intake.
  • They have manipulated, stolen, or lied to fund their drinking habit.
  • They frequently lose control of the number of drinks they consume.
  • They suffer from withdrawal symptoms when they do not get alcohol for a long time.
  • They are not honest about the amount of alcohol they consume daily.
  • They try to hide the true extent of their drinking problem.
  • They are emotionally unavailable or erratic.
  • They feel anxious, agitated, or restless when they do not get alcohol.
  • They have tried to quit drinking but have failed.
  • They have lost interest in activities that they previously used to enjoy.

Alcohol addiction has many more characteristics and features. However, the ones mentioned above should be enough to help you conclude if your loved one has an addiction or not. If you are still in doubt, there are free helplines to call on and speak with an expert for free, confidential advice.

If you have been living with an alcoholic for a while, you probably understand how seemingly impossible it can be to guide them to a suitable rehab facility. Going about it wrong can often do more harm than good, so it is vital to tread carefully and with a non-judgmental approach.

One of the initial and most essential steps includes discussing your concerns and expressing your desire to help your loved one beat alcoholism. As a concerned individual, how can you stage a successful intervention to accomplish these goals?

First, it is crucial to understand that your partner might face multiple obstacles to staying sober. Unlike other drugs, the problem with alcohol is that it is readily available, socially acceptable, and extremely cheap. Additionally, there are a lot of misconceptions about alcoholism in people’s minds, such as if someone can hold a steady job, they are not an alcoholic. The reality is that your partner does not have to keep drinking from the moment they wake up, lose their job, or start experiencing physical consequences just to be labelled as an alcoholic. Many may consider quitting it for other reasons, such as controlling their drinking or getting rid of the mental obsession related to drinking.

So when you hold an intervention with your partner, focus on communicating your concerns and sharing your feelings. Make sure to assure them that they are not alone. While the idea of expressing your feelings to your loved one may sound simple, it can often become hostile. To prevent this, seek help from a professional interventionist or counsellor.

In most cases, it is advised to let your alcoholic partner make the final call for themselves. The goal here is to help them see the problem and discover a new, alcohol-free way of living. Enticing or forcing them to join a rehab may not work in the long run and often leads to poor compliance to treatment. The decision to seek help must always be goal-driven and come from within.

If the intervention is successful and your partner agrees to seek help, the next step is to find a rehab that best suits their needs. Here are the steps to follow to help your loved one join a recovery centre:

  • Conduct online research and shortlist potential options for rehabilitation. Among hundreds of rehabs to choose from, settle for one based on the 12 Steps Approach of Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Make a phone call to connect with the admissions representative who can guide you about the process of joining the rehab. They may conduct a pre-admission assessment and ask about the quick background history of your partner’s addiction.
  • Enquire more about the rehab process, treatment cost, payment means, and more. Choosing a rehab that is rooted in recovery yet cost-effective at the same time can be the best choice.
  • Arrive at the rehab with your loved one and begin the intake process. Some facilities offer it on a call or over a video meet for convenience.

A luxury addiction rehab can be the best place for your loved one to seek treatment. These facilities offer a chance to break the pattern of addiction while living in luxurious on-campus accommodations with healthy gourmet meals, housekeeping facilities, and other amenities like pools and saunas. It’s like a home away from home, so your partner never feels alone.

The alcohol addiction treatment offered in these rehabs is generally divided into the following four phases:

Detoxification of the Body

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be highly unpleasant and potentially dangerous. Hence, it is advised to undergo the detoxification process in the hands of professionals who supervise and monitor the process and offer medical services. Detox usually takes a few weeks to complete, after which your loved one can enter rehabilitation.

Admissions and Customisation of the Treatment Plan  

This phase includes several discussions with a professional team to understand the problem at hand and your partner’s individual needs. Often, a detailed assessment is carried out to determine the severity of the addiction and to rule out the possibility of co-occurring mental and physical health disorders. Based on these evaluations, the experts curate a treatment plan best suited to your loved one’s needs.

Establishment of Long-term Recovery

Depending on the plan of care, your loved one will be offered to undertake treatment at one of the following two levels of care:

  • Inpatient programmes- that offer alcoholics help and support by taking them out of their complex environments and temporarily placing them in a rehab facility. If it is convenient and affordable for you and your partner, inpatient treatment is the best starting point to practice long-term sobriety.
  • Outpatient programmesthat best suits a person who has career or family obligations but wishes to seek help from addiction. It includes therapy and counselling sessions on fixed days of the week, and your partner can return home after attending them.

Aftercare

Sticking to a solid aftercare programme is essential once the rehabilitation process is completed. Recovery is often a life-long process, and just because your loved one is done with their residential treatment does not mean they have achieved recovery. Remember that all alcoholics need a foundation in something proven to provide recovery, such as attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. Alternatively, you and your partner may decide to transition into a sober living programme to maximise the chances of staying sober after the rehab process.

If a loved one is struggling with addiction, you can take steps to help and support them. A residential alcohol rehab facility can be the best place to offer them a chance to recover and restart a healthy life. The rehab might be an overwhelming experience for your loved one and may bring multiple challenges. However, with the right programmes and support from family, they’ll be able to gain sobriety.

Call us now to give your loved ones a second chance at life.

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