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When a loved one shows signs of alcoholism, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by questions, such as:
This guide will help you answer some of these questions to best move forward with getting help for your loved one.
If you’re worried about a relative or other loved one, look for some of the diagnostic criteria of an alcohol use disorder:1
As starkly pronounced as some of these signs and symptoms may be, in some cases, individuals may overlook or downplay the significance of them when considering whether or not a problem is present because drinking is such a common social practice. If your loved one is showing the signs of an alcohol use disorder, they may need the help and support of others, including addiction treatment professionals, to stop drinking.
Alcoholism is a complex condition that is not caused by a lack of willpower, but by a combination of contributing factors, including:3-8
Of course, not every person who experiences mental illness, trauma, or other risk factors for alcoholism will go on to abuse alcohol. The disease of addiction is complicated, and it’s not possible to predict with total accuracy who will be impacted.9
Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, and multifaceted disease. As alcohol use disorder itself is quite a complex condition, oftentimes so too is recovering from it. It is not just a matter of deciding to put the bottle down—very often, professional treatment is needed to get and stay sober.9
Convincing a loved one to get help can be extremely challenging. Denial is common among people struggling with alcoholism, and it may take many attempts to get your loved one to accept that they need help.10 When talking with a person who has a drinking problem, the most effective approach is usually to be as objective, caring, and nonjudgmental as possible. Confrontational approaches like those seen on television may alienate the individual instead of bringing them closer to treatment and may even result in violence.11,12
When talking to a loved one:11,12
Above all, remember that alcoholism is a disease that should be treated with as much compassion and understanding as any other serious medical condition. It can be extremely frustrating, even frightening, to watch a loved one abuse alcohol despite the obvious harm to themselves and the people they love. But an effective alcohol treatment program can help prevent further harm and get your loved one back on the path to a healthy, rewarding life.13
When you think of addiction treatment, you might default to inpatient rehab; however, there are many different types, or levels, of care in the continuum of substance abuse treatment.14
Often, people start out in a very intensive level of care and then transition to a more flexible outpatient program that offers relatively more independence and autonomy.15 Outpatient rehab programs offer many of the same services and therapies as inpatient treatment centers, but they give people the opportunity to live in the community, attend work or school, and take care of family obligations at the same time.
Levels of care available for the treatment of addiction include:14,15,16
Together, these programs form a spectrum of services that support long-term sobriety. Greenhouse Treatment Center provides this full continuum of care, offering all levels of treatment in one place so that patients don’t have to bounce around between treatment providers as they progress in their recovery.
Recovery from alcohol abuse does not happen in a matter of days and is not just a matter of completing a 30-day stay in a program. Alcoholism treatment is often a multistep process that demands time, effective therapies, and the support of friends and family. But the time and effort that go into recovery from alcoholism will pay off in the form of improved physical health, stronger personal relationships, and a more positive outlook on the future.
Making that first phone call to an alcohol treatment center may feel intimidating. This list of questions will help you structure your conversation with an admissions counselor and find a program that meets your loved one’s needs.
Ideally, finances wouldn’t be the major concern for those seeking treatment for alcoholism, but in reality, paying for recovery can be a stressor for those who need help. In many cases, however, paying for treatment may be less of a barrier than you think. Many programs offer financing, loans, or other ways to offset the burden of paying a large sum upfront.
For individuals with limited financial resources, options do exist in the form of:
Outpatient programs tend to be less expensive than inpatient programs, as well.
Many health insurance plans will also cover substance abuse treatment. For questions, you can contact the treatment center or call the number on your insurance card. For your convenience, Greenhouse also provides a free insurance benefits verification.
The intake phase is a critical step in the early stages of alcohol treatment. A thorough intake assessment and evaluation will ensure that the course of treatment adequately addresses the patient’s needs. During an intake evaluation, staff may ask about the patient’s:17
This information helps the treatment team identify the right level of care for the patient and create a personalized care plan for recovery. Greenhouse Treatment Center’s Admissions Navigators can discuss the right treatment plan for your loved one and how quickly they can get into treatment when you call 972-848-0221.