If you are the parent of an alcoholic son, it’s easy to adopt the mistaken belief that the problem will eventually correct itself. After all, your son may appear to have other aspects of his life in order. Maybe he is intelligent, successful, kind and compassionate.
He might also have a good career and loving family. Surely it’s just a matter of time before he comes to his senses. Unfortunately, this is not how alcoholism works.
If you want to help your son overcome an addiction to alcohol, the importance of staging an intervention with a trained addiction specialist cannot be overstated.
Addressing Enabling Behaviors
Families enable alcoholics by providing them comfort in their addiction. Examples of enabling behaviors include:
- Providing a place to stay
- Giving them money
- Buying them food and clothing
But enabling isn’t limited to providing material assistance. When parents provide emotional support to their alcoholic son or play into their son’s victim complex, they are impairing their son’s ability to feel the full impact that alcoholism is having on his life.
An intervention will not only help the son to see alcohol abuse from a clearer perspective, it also forces the parents to take a closer look at how their enabling behaviors have contributed to their child’s ongoing alcoholism. Once parents come to terms with this hard truth, they can start behaving in a way that pushes their son toward achieving sobriety.
You Can’t Afford to Wait
Families are often afraid that they are going to make their loved one mad by surprising them with an alcohol intervention. However, you need to understand that once someone’s alcoholism has degenerated to the point where it’s negatively impacting those around them, it really doesn’t matter whether they get upset.
Alcohol addiction is deadly, and getting help is essentially a matter of life or death. The fact your son might get angry seems like a pretty irrelevant detail when his life is at stake.
Your Actions Can Decide Success or Failure
It is common for parents to question whether it is even worth staging an intervention in the first place. We’ve all heard stories of interventions where the addict never ends up accepting the fact they need help. We can tell you with certainty, however, that the odds of success or failure depend on the family’s willingness to actually follow through on the guidance provided by the interventionist.
When parents are willing to do the work the interventionist outlines for them, including setting firm boundaries with their alcoholic son, an intervention is highly likely to result in the alcoholic making positive changes in his life.
Interventionists Understand the Mindset of Alcoholics
Alcoholics are experts in rationalizing their addiction, and they use their own twisted logic to justify their self-destructive behaviors. The simple fact is that unless you have spent years studying the science behind addiction, you won’t be able to argue your case in a way that brings about lasting change. Staging an intervention with a professional interventionist helps to get around this problem.
Signs that Your Son Needs Immediate Alcohol Intervention
If you are unsure whether your son’s alcohol use has crossed the line into alcoholism, there are a number of warning signs that you can look for:
He Has Become Secretive About His Drinking
One of the most common characteristics of an alcoholic’s behavior is the use of deception and outright lying. When your son begins to hide his drinking from loved ones, it is a sign that he is aware that his own alcohol use has become highly problematic.
He Has Tried and Failed to Stop on His Own
When healthy individuals realize that they have been drinking too much, they can successfully break the habit on their own. Serious alcoholics, on the other hand, usually cannot.
Don’t be fooled by your son’s rationalizations and excuses. Failing to maintain control over one’s drinking and hostility to the idea of alcohol rehab are signs that an intervention is necessary.
His Drinking Is Impacting His Relationships
If your son continues to abuse alcohol in spite of the negative impact it has on loved ones, you know that his priorities are dangerously askew. The worst thing that you can do as a parent is to tolerate, dismiss or justify his harmful behavior.
He Frequently Blacks Out While Drinking
Binge drinking, even when done rarely, is a problematic sign and can result in death in a number of different ways. If your son frequently drinks to the point of blacking out, you need to take immediate steps to get him professional help.
His Drinking Is Impacting His Health
Alcoholism can lead to a number of serious health problems, including:
- Liver and heart disease
- Brain damage
- Immune system dysfunction
Constant inebriation can also result in serious injury due to clumsiness and erratic behavior. Overt health problems are a sign that your son’s drinking problem might be more serious than you are aware of.
His Drinking Has Led to Legal Trouble
When a person’s drinking results in legal ramifications, it should be taken as another sign that satisfying their alcohol addiction is at the top of their list of priorities. Has your son been arrested for:
- Public intoxication,
- Domestic violence,
- Disorderly conduct, or
- Any other crime associated with alcohol use?
If so, you need to request an intervention as soon as possible.
You’ve Noticed Changes in His Personality
Alcoholics frequently suffer from unpredictable and dramatic mood swings. You can never tell if they will be happy, depressed, anxious or aggressive. Frequently, their mood depends on when they last drank or if they are experiencing a hangover.
Alcohol affects the brain in countless ways, and if you don’t work to resolve the problem early, many of these personality changes become extremely difficult to reverse.
Where to Turn
Reaching out to the team at Family First Intervention can be the first step in helping your son overcome the cycle of alcohol abuse. Let us guide you through the intervention process, and help you craft the alcohol addiction treatment plan that is right for your son.
We really do believe in putting the family first when it comes to the battle against substance abuse. Together, we can get your son the help he needs to live a long, healthy and sober life.
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