August 9, 2009
What Is An Alcoholic And How To Stop Drinking Alcohol Naturally
The decision to confront an alcoholic is never an easy one to make. The most important thing is you should never attempt it when the alcoholic is currently under the influence of alcohol. The confrontation should be planned when he or she is sober. Confronting an alcoholic is sometimes called an intervention and must be carefully planned according to recommended expert guidelines, preferably those issued by a knowledgeable organization like Al-Anon which is the support group for family members of alcoholics. Also, prior to confronting an alcoholic, you should check with the person’s doctor or a specialist in treating alcoholic disorders to determine how to prepare yourself and any others who might be helping you to confront a drinker about whom you are concerned. We have listed nine tips that may be helpful in preparing for an intervention.
Instead of formulating a confrontation plan on your own, see what the experts advise by talking to the Al-Anon association in your area. People there can advise you how to plan the intervention, and provide useful resources and information, too. If Al-Anon is unavailable in your area, make an appointment with a licensed therapist, counselor, or psychologist to discuss the nature of the problem and how it might best be approached. Although confronting an alcoholic can be similar in many respects for many families, it is a good idea to clarify unique circumstances or personal characteristics that could make a difference on the outcome.
When someone you care about comes home drunk, it can be tempting to let loose and criticize him roundly for being intoxicated yet again. But that will not serve the purpose, as the drunk will tune out the criticism for the time being, or forget about it the next day, when sober, and thus be unable to do anything about it. It is essential to catch the person when sober, and hopefully when he is in a reasonable frame of mind to hear your concerns. If no spontaneous opportunities occur, you can try to schedule a talk after dinner or at another time when the two of you can be uninterrupted.
Other relatives, close friends, or even members of Al-Anon that you may have met can by your supporters, as they may have been in comparable situations as you at some point. They may even decide to join you in confronting the alcoholic in your family. That decision can depend on you and the circumstances involving the person who drinks too much, as well as professional opinions about the situation.
You cannot be weak or indirect when confronting an alcoholic. You must use a matter-of-fact tone in your voice and simply state the cause and effect of the individual’s drinking. Use examples of the alcoholic’s troubled behaviors and the consequent results. Try to support your statements with dates, amounts of alcohol consumed, occurrences of negative behavior and even the amounts spent on drinking. It requires a lot of backbone to confront an alcoholic, so make sure to stand strong and firm. Stay calm and refer back to the facts should the alcoholic want to argue.
An alcoholic often learns how to sidestep responsibility and manipulate other people to disregard his misdeeds or cover for him at work or in public in order to continue his habits. If you find yourself enabling the drinking, the alcoholic may presume he can have his way again to get out of the intervention without making any changes. Part of an intervention’s impending success lies in the family member who leads it being able to change also. Ending the cycles that support the alcoholic’s drinking is essential in helping them overcome their problem. Never allow the alcoholic to defeat what you are trying to accomplish.
Coupled with confronting an alcoholic with the consequences of his behavior is the need for a plan of recovery. If you are working with Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon, they can help you with making arrangements for a problem drinker to enter a rehabilitation program, either on site at a facility for this purpose, or as an outpatient in a local clinic or support group. In some cases, a halfway house might be an appropriate alternative. Find out ahead of time if a particular detoxification program will accept the problem drinker you are working with, and make preliminary arrangements for the person to be admitted immediately following the intervention. Make it clear that you cannot guarantee the drinker will enroll, much less stay with the program, unless he accepts the program as part of his new life of abstaining from drink.
If the alcoholic agrees to go into rehab, family members should try to provide support and encouragement during the detoxification phase and rehabilitation program, which involves patient and family education and can last anywhere between several days to several months. Most programs last 28 days or less, given people’s job and family responsibilities, and some of the rehabilitators can continue as a non-resident while resuming career and household duties. However the program plays out, love, acceptance, and willingness to support changes in lifestyle can go a long way toward helping the alcoholic become successful in rehabilitation.
As I mentioned above briefly, family members who are living with an alcoholic must also be willing to take responsibility for their own behavior and make any necessary changes, as well. Some required adjustments might include refusing to cover for an alcoholic’s inability to go to work by reporting him absent, paying bills that the drinker should pay when he has spent his paycheck for alcoholic beverages, and letting the drunkard abuse or terrorize the family by acts of recklessness or violence. It is not surprising that sobriety can actually make life harder for the drinker and his family as everyone adjusts to new rules and learns how to follow through consistently. Some alcoholics can be ill- tempered, demanding, and peevish, while others may act guilty, embarrassed, or repentant.
After confronting an alcoholic, results may not appear automatically. The drinker may vacillate between agreeing to rehab and resisting it, or he may enter rehab but leave early or fall off the wagon after completing the program. Nothing is guaranteed. After confronting an alcoholic, all you can do is continue to hold your line and wait for the drinker’s response. That alone will determine the outcome of your intervention. If the drinker opts not to continue treatment or it proves unsuccessful, the family should continue to receive counseling and support as they make decisions about the future.
One of the most difficult things is to live with an alcoholic. Their inability to control their drinking creates problems for not only themselves but for everyone around them. It can be hard for family to separate themselves from the drinker and create effective boundaries against the alcoholic in order to prevent the drinker’s problems from spreading. With knowledge, professional support, and loads of assurance, relatives can incorporate a dose of tough love into their confrontation to give that person a chance at recovery. An intervention is a positive step in the right direction, a direction that includes admitting a problem and choosing to have the willingness to take action to end the addiction. These steps will lead to a better life for both the drinker and those he loves.