Part of the problem families of addicts face when considering getting help for their loved one is whether they need an addiction intervention at all. When the issue surrounds alcohol abuse, the addict and his or her family tend to use terms like “drinking problem” or say that a loved one “likes to bend the elbow.” These terms sound more kind and delicate than saying that the person is an addict and needs treatment.
Denial Part of Alcohol Abuse
No one wants to admit they have an addict in the family. It is much easier to think of this issue as something that happens in other people’s homes. When you learn the facts about alcohol abuse, you will find out addicts come in all shapes and sizes. They live in all neighborhoods and come from all socioeconomic groups. The fact alcohol is legal doesn’t make it less of an issue or a “better” type of addiction than street drugs like heroin or crack cocaine. An addict is an addict, and the type of substance the person is using doesn’t matter.
Most families think an alcoholic can simply decide to stop drinking at a certain point. The issue is much more complicated than that. Alcoholics do not believe they are the problem. They will shift the blame for their drinking and the behavior that goes with it to depression, stress, past traumas, or the other people in their life. This is a smoke screen designed to deflect attention away from the real issue. It’s also an indication of how selfish and self-absorbed an alcoholic can be.
Inability to Face Problems
Alcoholics can’t face problems in life on their own, so they use alcohol as a coping mechanism. Putting the bottle down is only half the battle. The alcoholic in your family still needs to learn how to replace the negative coping skill (drinking) with a better way to deal with problems. This will take time and professional help.
Contact Family Intervention Specialists for Help
Family intervention specialists have the training to support the family as they encourage the alcoholic get the treatment he or she needs. By the time a family asks for help, they have usually had multiple incidents where they have been hurt and disappointed by their loved one’s behavior. They want it to stop, but may not know what steps to take to break the chain.
With the interventionist’s help, the family can form a plan of action that encourages the alcoholic to go for treatment. Part of the plan will include consequences if the addict hesitates and refuses to accept the help being offered. Once the alcoholic has gone for treatment, the rest of the family can get the help they need to change behavior patterns and provide support for the addict’s continued sobriety after he or she leaves the treatment facility.