Learn how to help a loved one, or yourself, when alcohol use disorder spins out of control.
It is painful to watch someone you love being damaged by a drinking problem. Alcoholism can truly destroy every single thing a person holds dear.
Alcohol use disorders (AUD) impact about 15 million people in the U.S. Alcoholism is a progressive disease of the brain. Heavy drinking is very toxic to the body and brain, and is linked to many health problems.
When the disease has progressed to a severe stage it is crucial that the person receive treatment. Learn more about AUD and how to overcome the disease and live a full and joyful life.
Signs of Alcoholism
An alcohol use disorder often sneaks up over time, little by little. As tolerance to the alcohol is increased, so does the amount the person will consume. Those who struggle with a drinking problem will at some point show signs and symptoms that are hard to hide.
Learning to notice the signs of an alcohol problem can help you get treatment in a timely manner. These symptoms include:
- Not being able to control the drinking.
- Feeling sick in the mornings.
- Alcohol cravings.
- Not being able to stop drinking even when you want to.
- Failing to fulfill responsibilities at work or home.
- Increased tolerance.
- Hand tremors when not drinking.
- Lying about how much you drink.
- Loss of interest in usual activities.
- Blacking out.
- Hiding alcohol around the house.
- Continue drinking even though it causes so many problems.
- Engaging in high-risk behaviors while drinking, getting a DUI.
- Having withdrawal symptoms when the effects wear off.
The number of symptoms that are present can help gauge how severe the AUD is. Also, keep in mind that he or she may be struggling with a co-occurring mental health issue.
Tips for Getting a Loved One into Treatment for Alcoholism
Trying to convince an alcoholic that they need help can feel like hitting your head against a brick wall. Many people with AUD are in total denial about their drinking problem. It can be quite a challenge to break through the wall of resistance and usher them towards treatment. Don’t give up.
There are some things you can do to prepare for when that hopeful day does arrives that they are open to seeking help and find urgent help for alcoholic:
Check insurance coverage.
Each healthcare plan is unique. Because of this, it is important to contact the provider to get the details about what the plan covers. This allows you to plan the out of pocket expense of treatment. Also, many rehabs offer in-house credit options to help with those out of pocket expenses.
Learn about the disease.
Before any attempt to get a loved one into treatment is taken you must know what you are dealing with. Get some solid information about the disease, detox, treatment, and recovery. Research the types of rehabs and levels of care.
Plan for rehab.
The family needs to come together as a solid source of support for the loved one. Start making some very basic plans about the logistics of rehab. These might include whether travel is a factor, getting money affairs in order, planning for childcare, and family support.
Suggest a physical exam.
An AUD can take a serious toll on a person’s health. Ask your loved one to consider getting an exam. This can help pave the way for the loved one’s health needs in recovery. The blood test results may prompt the doctor to advise they enter a rehab, reinforcing your own request.
Have a calm chat.
Find a quiet moment to sit down with the loved one to calmly discuss rehab options. Share the things you have learned about AUD and help put their mind at ease. Explain that the detox will be helped by meds that help ease the symptoms. Suggest they meet with their HR department to arrange a leave of absence if they will need inpatient care.
Plan an intervention.
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you are not able to convince the loved one that they need treatment. An intervention might be helpful in this regard. It is a meeting between the alcoholic and their close family members, spouse, or friends. An expert will plan the intervention and guide the family members through the meeting.
What to Expect in Alcohol Detox
When your loved one agrees to get help, the first hurdle he or she will cross is the detox process. Detox will allow the remnants of the alcohol toxins to be purged from the body. During the process, the person will feel ill, as the body tries to adjust to the absence of alcohol.
The alcohol detox timeline lasts about one week. This is the amount of time it takes for the last traces of alcohol to be expelled from the body. Symptoms begin about 6 hours after the last drink. They normally follow three phases: 1) Symptoms emerge; 2) Symptoms peak; and 3) Symptoms subside.
In a small number of people, alcohol detox can cause severe symptoms, called the DTs, on days 3-4. This occurs in about 5% of those going through alcohol detox and is a medical emergency. Detox experts are trained to observe symptoms closely, and will act quickly if seizures and other severe symptoms emerge.
What to Expect in Treatment
During the treatment phase of recovery there is a long list of therapies your loved one will engage in. All of these activities help to promote new healthy thought patterns and choices in recovery. These will include:
- One-On-One Talk Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Holistic Treatments
- 12-Step Program
- Life Skills
- Nutrition and Fitness
With your loving support, your loved one will overcome the AUD and regain a sense of purpose and joy in their lives.
Journey Hillside Offers Comprehensive Treatment for Alcoholism
Journey Hillside is a private luxury treatment program that provides a high level of supportive care for a loved one with AUD. A highly trained staff caters to each client’s unique treatment needs. Explore this upscale, intimate recovery venue today by calling (877) 414-1024.