How do you know if someone is an alcoholic or addict?
If the answer to any of these is yes, then a professional assessment is the correct action.
- Does the person have problems (driving infractions, arguments, bills unpaid) that were caused even in part by drinking and/or use of other chemical substances (cocaine, pills, marijuana)?
- Has the person promised to stop or cut down and then reneged or been unable to fulfill that promise?
- Does the life of the person (friends, activities, thoughts) seem to be centered around the getting and taking of alcohol or drugs?
What is Intervention?
Intervention is a technique for interrupting self-destructive behaviors and for motivating the dependent individual to enter treatment immediately. The intervention process can take many forms. It can be a highly structured collaborative effort in which family members, friends and/or business associates participate. Or, it can be done on a one-on-one basis or something in between. The key is to design a flexible approach for each individual situation. Intervention is not an exact science. Careful selection of treatment and continuous monitoring of a relapse-prevention regime are essential for sustainable recovery.
If an alcoholic or addict goes for inpatient treatment, what happens when he or she comes home or back to work?
A period of readjustment needs to occur, preferably with the aid of outpatient treatment. The individual must become accustomed to being with family, friends and coworkers without the use of alcohol or other drugs. Outpatient treatment will give the person an opportunity to discuss the highs and lows of their new life with both an experienced counselor and others in the same circumstances. Further support comes from fellowship groups and from family members who have received education and counseling on the subject. Friends and family, colleagues and associates, if they are aware of what the individual is going through, should neither skirt the issue or belabor it. Simple statements of support and concern are appreciated.
What changes will friends and family see in the person returning from treatment?
Physical damage caused by the disease of alcoholism and/or addiction may have made the individual appear tired, puffy, drawn or weak. Treatment is a time to repair and renew. Most people become physically more robust. However, their ability to medicate moods has been removed and sudden shifts from high to low may occur in the early days of recovery. This is part of the process. Family or friends who find it difficult to cope with the alcoholic or addict during this period of readjustment should contact a counselor for assistance.
Is there a cure for this disease? Will the person ever be completely healthy?
Alcoholism is a chronic nervous system disease that resists a cure. However, millions of afflicted individuals are able to arrest it and go on to lead happier, healthier, more productive lives.
How can recovery be maximized?
Inpatient or outpatient primary care must be augmented by extended care and appropriate monitoring until the alcoholic or addict has established a secure way of life. This element of treatment is essential in minimizing relapse.
How Can I Stop Enabling a Substance Abuser?
- Don't accept lies from a substance abuser as truth.
In so doing you encourage deceit. The truth is often painful,
but get at it.
- Don't let the abuser taker advantage of you.
In so doing you become an accomplice to
his/her evasion of responsibility and incur loss of respect.
- Don't lecture, moralize, scold, praise, blame, threaten
or argue. Any of these responses may make you feel
better but will likely worsen the situation.
- Don't accept promises which are patently false. This
just postpones pain.
- Don't lose your temper. This will only distance you further
from the abuser who needs help.
- Don't allow your anxiety to compel you to do what
dependent persons must do for themselves.
- Don't put off facing the reality that substance dependency
is a progressive illness that gets increasingly worse.
Seek professional help and plan for recovery. To do
nothing is the worse choice you can make.