How to help an alcoholic family member or relative

Everybody loves a little taste of alcohol in their mouths whenever there are parties and special occasions. Everyone loves the effect it gives – lessened inhibitions, more self-confidence, and utter euphoria. Yet the day after when all the fun ends, it gives a terrible hangover. There is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol as long as it is kept to a minimum and acceptable levels. Too much dependence on alcohol needs medication for alcoholism and that is not good news.

Too much alcohol levels in the body can be disruptive. While people find this as their way out of problems and troubles, this is the main cause of horror for others. There are a lot of families affected by alcoholism today. It causes broken families and destroyed homes all over the country making it hard to manage. Medication for alcoholism is just one of the ways to combat this problem. If the person and the family are dedicated enough, this can be eradicated in no time.

How to recognize an alcoholic?

There are many alcoholism symptoms. Many of these alcoholism signs are very apparent to the alcoholic and to others around them while others are more subtle. However, many alcoholics are so adept at hiding their problems that the alcoholism symptoms may not be apparent until in the later stages of the disease. In addition, an alcoholic may recognize the alcoholism symptoms, but deny they have a problem. Even so, knowing the alcoholism symptoms is a way to determine if someone is an alcoholic or is on the course of becoming one.

One of the effects of alcoholism is the denial. Most addicts and alcoholics will find loopholes to prove that they don’t have a problem, like not having all the alcoholism symptoms that are listed. You don’t have to possess all the alcoholism symptoms to have a problem with alcohol. For instance, someone may be a chronic alcoholic, yet they have never had trouble with the law or issues at work. That does not make them any less an alcoholic. They still exhibit a variety of alcoholism symptoms, and they are on the path to destruction.

– Feeling a strong desire to drink. This is more than just drinking casually at a party or having wine with dinner. This desire is actually more of compulsion or an intense craving that will not leave until satisfied. One definition of alcoholism is ‘an addiction to the consumption of alcohol’. The strong desire to drink is a manifestation of that addiction.

– The inability to limit your drinking. This and the one above are two alcoholism symptoms that can go hand in hand. When you have such a strong desire to drink and you continue to drink because you cannot stop. This is part of the addiction and compulsion to drink that comes with alcoholism.

– Hiding how much you drink, drinking in secret, or drinking alone. Do you hide in the garage or some other place to get a quick drink? Do you drink before social events to ‘warm-up’? When a loved one or friend asks if you have been drinking do you deny it? All of these things show that subconsciously you know that you have a problem with alcohol, even though you aren’t ready to admit it publicly.

– Stashing alcohol around the house and in your car. Many alcoholics are afraid they might run out of alcohol, so they have an emergency supply stashed in various places. They may even put the alcohol in different containers to hide it. Things such as soda bottles, flasks, and even washed out antifreeze containers – which can be very dangerous by the way.

– Needing more alcohol to feel the effects. As a person becomes more and more dependent on alcohol, their body builds up a tolerance to the substance, as a result, it takes more to feel the same effects.

– Problems with the law, work, or family. These are common alcoholism symptoms although a person may not have trouble in all three areas. As alcohol takes a more prominent role in the alcoholic’s life, other things begin to suffer. They may have problems at work such as habitual tardiness, failure to show up, poor job performance, etc. There may be legal problems from driving while intoxicated or creating disturbances while drinking. Problems with family and other relationships are probably one of the most common problems that an alcoholic will have. The alcoholic tends to be very selfish, this is a trait found in most addicts. As a result family relationships suffer and loved ones find themselves unable to be around the alcoholic for long periods of time. 

– Lack of interest in things that are used to bring pleasure. Do you have unfinished projects around the house? Do you stay home and drink rather than participate in recreational activities you love? Hobbies and other things that the person used to love are all but forgotten. This can be very frustrating to families as family outings, household chores, and general home repair are left half done or ignored completely because the alcoholic just doesn’t care anymore.

– Blackouts, not remembering what you did or said. One of the more tragic alcoholism symptoms is not remembering anything you did or said while you were under the influence. This symptom is quite dangerous because people have been known to drive in this state and cause harm to others.

– Withdrawal symptoms. If an alcoholic tries to stop drinking abruptly they will more than likely suffer intense withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, sleeplessness, nausea, and in extreme cases life-threatening alcoholism symptoms and even death. This is why it is best to stop drinking under the direction of a doctor or a rehab program.

Alcoholism symptoms are a way to determine if you or a loved one has a problem with alcohol. But you need to remember that all alcoholics will exhibit all these alcoholism symptoms. However, if several of these alcoholism symptoms are present then you are probably an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a disease that can be treated.

The phenomenon of co-dependence

Sooner or later, any drunkard reaches a crisis period, having overcome which he begins to think that it is time to tie. But here, relatives can do little on their own. The most correct thing at any stage of the disease is to seek help from qualified specialists.

After receiving psychological help, alcoholic families begin to live in a different scenario. It may not quite like him at the beginning, but invariably leads to a change in the situation and its improvement. And the psychotherapist should be responsible for its development. Only family counseling for patients with alcoholism will fundamentally change the relationship of participants in the rehabilitation process.

In their narcological practice, specialists often meet people obsessed with the idea of saving an alcoholic. These people often feel guilty, consider themselves bad, and failed. But they don’t succeed in reaching out to a loved one and helping him, no matter how hard they try. This attitude is called co-dependence. It means that it needs to work not only with an alcoholic but with his immediate environment.

Helping relatives of alcoholics faced with co-dependence requires observation by a psychotherapist. In this condition, there is a strong emotional and physical dependence on the alcoholic. Co-dependence develops gradually – for about six months or a little longer. It takes so much time on average that relatives have unhealthy reactions and painful behavior.

Co-dependent allow the behavior of another to influence them. They are absorbed in thoughts about how to prevent another booze, how to prevent a binge. Their attempts to control the actions of the addict are repeated again and again. Family counseling for patients with alcoholism and their co-dependent relatives is a prerequisite for rehabilitation.

Alcohol rehab centers

Alcohol rehab centers are institutes in which the alcoholics who usually have a high dependency on alcohol, and find it so difficult to stop drinking, and they have developed a physical addiction to alcohol, will be admitted and undergo a full program of detoxification, alcohol awareness and group support.

One might ask “why do I need to stay in a rehab”? Good question. If your drinking pattern is not addictive, it means you drink alcohol more than normal but if you stop drinking it, you will be fine, then rehab is not necessary for you at all. But if the dependency on alcohol has become addictive, meaning that if you stop drinking, your body reacts to it and your body cannot even function normally, then you need to detox the body in a clinic or one of the alcohol rehab centers. 

Usually the treatment in these centers is confidential and the patient does not need to be worried about his reputation with others. They might assign a roommate for each individual, for the purpose of support from mates and avoid isolation.

There are different treatment lengths: 30, 60, or 90 days. Depending on the severity of the alcohol dependency and the willingness of the patient, either of these packages will be selected and the treatment will be run based on them. Usually in alcohol rehabs, they ask the patient to honestly explain his/her habits of drinking, how he feels, etc. to evaluate the physical, emotional, and psychological state of the patient. After the patient is successfully admitted to the rehab, they help him to undergo the best detox program so that his body gets used to functioning without alcohol as naturally as possible.

After detox and physical cleansing of the body, the real healing will begin which can be of many methods, but usually, applying the twelve spiritual steps and spiritual healing together with the other alcoholic mates is the most effective way.

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