What Will It Take for My Loved One to Get Alcohol Rehab Help?
Watching alcoholism destroy a loved one’s life can be a heart-rending experience, leaving a person feeling helpless and oftentimes alone. In spite of your attempts to reason, bargain and even beg, he or she continues to turn to alcohol as the be-all and end-all for life’s problems.
While no one can force a person to enter alcohol rehab treatment (unless the law intervenes), there are still some things you can do to hold a loved one accountable for his or her actions. Protecting your own mental and emotional well-being along the way also plays a critical role in increasing the likelihood he or she will choose to get needed alcohol rehab help. From there, the choice is theirs in terms of seeing the problem for what it is or continuing on along a path of destruction.
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Alcohol’s Effects on the Body and Mind
The grueling hangovers and failing health are but the tip of the iceberg once a loved one succumbs to the effects of alcoholism. According to the Scripps Research Institute, alcohol not only tears down the body, but also warps the mind changing a person’s core values and overall mindset.
While the physical discomforts of hangovers or withdrawal play a pivotal role in perpetuating continued drinking, the psychological need to depend on alcohol’s effects to cope with daily life lie at the heart of an alcohol addiction problem. Breaking through the mental hold alcohol has on your loved one becomes the overall goal of alcohol rehab treatment.
Holding Your Loved One Accountable
Over time, alcoholism diminishes the family’s quality of life as well as the drinker’s. Dealing with unpredictable mood swings, disappointments and outright lies from your loved one inevitably takes a toll on the health of the family, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Throughout this time, it’s essential to hold a loved one accountable for hurtful, destructive choices. By doing so, it becomes more difficult for the drinker to ignore the consequences of his or her actions.
Ways of holding a loved one accountable include:
- Not making excuses for his or her actions with employers, friends or family
- Setting clear boundaries and consequences in terms of what will not be tolerated in the home
- Following through on any stated consequences should your loved cross a boundary
- Not taking on a drinker’s responsibilities, such as paying his or her bills
In effect, alcoholics live on an emotional roller coaster as a result of alcohol’s effects on their thinking and emotions. In an effort to protect the role alcohol plays in their lives, passing blame and instilling feelings of guilt in friends and loved ones comes easy to the alcoholic. For these reasons, it’s essential to protect yourself against the downward emotional spiral that is addiction.
Ways of protecting yourself may include:
- Having someone to talk to when home life seems unbearable
- Attending support group meetings, such as Al-Anon and ACOA groups
- Having an emergency plan in place in the event you have to get away for a while
- Seeing a therapist
Ultimately, the alcoholic must choose to enter alcohol rehab treatment on his or her own. However, your behaviors do factor into a loved one’s decision-making over time. Holding the drinker accountable and tending to your own self-care needs creates the types of conditions that make it easier for a loved one to choose to get alcohol rehab help.
If you or someone you know struggles with a loved one affected by alcoholism and have more questions about how to get him or her into alcohol rehab, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at 800-481-6320Who Answers? to speak with one of our addictions specialists.