Helping an alcoholic who’s unwilling to get help can be difficult. The only way for an alcoholic to live a sober lifestyle is to want to stop drinking and then make an effort towards that end. There are few ways that you can force an alcoholic into treatment, with most of those methods available only under very specific, legally mandated circumstances. Outside of those particular conditions, the only option left to you is to change your own behavior towards the alcoholic. In this way, you can make the alcoholic see the need for obtaining treatment.
Discouraging Alcoholics To Drink More
The first thing you have to do is stop enabling the alcoholic behavior in the person unwilling to get the help necessary. This can be a difficult step to take. Your enabling of the alcoholic is often the result of years of developing your own coping mechanisms to deal with the alcoholic’s actions. The primary thing that you have to do is to stop covering for the alcoholic. Each time you help the alcoholic hide his or her actions, you give that person another reason to avoid getting help. Allow the alcoholic to feel the full repercussions of his or her actions, without you bailing him or her out of trouble.
How to Help an Alcoholic: Personal Intervention
Have a personal intervention with the alcoholic. This is a positive action, so make certain you’re calm and that you’ve considered what you wish to say to the individual before speaking. Wait until the alcoholic is sober, and have the discussion in a quiet area where you won’t be disturbed. Be completely honest in your discussion. Tell the individual about the effects that his or her drinking has had on you and others. Use specific examples of alcohol-fueled incidents, to point out the severity of the issue. Make certain to explain that the discussion is the result of your worry and not an attempt to cause emotional harm.
During the intervention discussion, it’s important to point out the negatives that continued drinking will have on your relationship. You’ll need to be specific about what may happen, whether it’s your removing the individual from your life or simply deciding not to be around the alcoholic if there’s been any drinking. Make sure that you mean whatever you say, and be willing to follow through or else you’ll simply be continuing to enable the alcoholic’s drinking. Give the alcoholic time to consider what you’ve said during the intervention, but make it brief to emphasize the importance of the conversation and the negative repercussions.
Treatment Programs and Facilities
Get as much information on treatment programs and facilities in your area as you can. Should your actions actually convince the alcoholic to get help, you’ll want to make certain that he or she has what is needed to begin immediately. Offering to support the alcoholic through the first session can be the biggest help you supply. This support can be anything from simply supplying the gathered information to making the call for an appointment and driving him or her to the treatment facility. Perhaps you can even sit in on the initial session with the counselor, if it would give the alcoholic the strength needed to take that first step.
Seek Help from Healthcare Professionals
If your intervention isn’t enough, it still isn’t time to give up on getting the individual to enter treatment. If you know of anyone else in the alcoholic’s life that has the kind of influence that may help, you should ask for that help. It can take a few discussions to get an alcoholic to see that the problem is serious and widespread.
When all else fails, approach a healthcare professional for advice. An expert in the treatment of alcoholism may be able to tell you how to approach the alcoholic in a more effective manner, or may aid in your intervention efforts.
All you can do is try to show the alcoholic that there’s hope through treatment and that you’ll support them throughout the treatment process. If that’s not enough, then it’s time to show the individual that you meant what you said, and follow through with those negative repercussions.