Steps to Take if an Alcoholic Refuses Treatment
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Steps to Take if an Alcoholic Refuses Treatment
If someone you love is struggling with an alcohol problem but refuses to get help, you may be wondering how to help an alcoholic without rehab. This can be difficult, and when an alcoholic doesn’t get help, it can be extremely hard on the family and friends surrounding this individual.
This is especially true in the case of functioning alcoholism. Although people can maintain their lives, you can still see certain aspects unraveling around them – whether personal, emotional, or health-related. If you are dealing with an alcoholic who needs help but is refusing treatment, then there are a few steps you can take.
What is Alcoholism?
Watching someone close to you struggle with alcohol addiction is difficult. You may wonder how to understand what is considered alcoholism, and at what point does it become a significant problem. Alcoholism is generally a term used to describe someone with a dependence on alcohol, also known as an alcohol use disorder.
This dependence usually involves both a physical and psychological dependence on the substance. Alcoholism can show up in many forms. A person struggling with alcohol may have problems controlling their drinking habits, or simply continue drinking even after they know it is causing them problems.
These problems may start affecting or already have been affecting their professional life, relationships, and overall health. Alcohol use disorders vary from mild to severe. Even though an alcohol abuse disorder may seem mild at first, it can easily evolve into a more serious problem.
By starting treatment early on, mild disorders can be prevented from becoming more serious.
Step 1: Communicate with Them
Begin by opening the lines of communication. Talk with them about how you are concerned. Although this conversation may be uncomfortable, it is imperative. This conversation may even lead to what is called an intervention.
Whether you are considering it an intervention or a simple conversation, the result will always be the same – to bring attention to the illness or alcohol addiction. Be sure to state that you hope they can see why you are concerned and that you are only bringing it up because you care about them.
Step 2: Let Them Talk Openly at Their Discretion
How can you help an alcoholic without rehab? Let them talk openly at their discretion. Create a comfortable space to allow the person to talk openly about their drinking. In doing so, you will be able to understand their reasoning behind it. They may even talk to you about their reasons for over-drinking.
Most people do not drink simply to drink. Typically, alcoholics might struggle with anxiety, depression, or another reason they feel the need to self-medicate. If you believe that someone may have a mental health issue in relation to their drinking, let them know. Do not let them know in an accusatory tone, but start by asking them if they think it may contribute to their drinking.
Step 3: Let Them Know Your Concerns
Wondering how to help an alcoholic without rehab if he or she is refusing treatment? Offer some examples of why you believe they may have a problem. Some alcoholics do not even see that they have a problem (or they are in denial).
Let them know you are concerned and the reasons why you are concerned. If you do not have a legitimate reason, then they may not take you seriously.
Step 4: Do Not Guilt
Avoid offering ultimatums. If you think that your loved one will choose you over alcohol, you are most likely wrong. They use alcohol as a way to let go of stress and pain. Instead of offering an ultimatum, offer them help.
Research different methods of treatment and programs that might help them.
Step 5: Avoid Judging or Shaming Them
If you lower the self-esteem of a person struggling with alcoholism or another form of addiction, it will only make matters worse. Try to remember that alcoholism is a disease.
Do not pass any judgments because you have never been in their exact shoes. It can be hard to know how to help an alcoholic without rehab. But, if you judge them, you may push them further into their cycle of alcoholism and destruction.
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Step 6: Talk to Others About Their Success
Think about the people in your life who have dealt with and, successfully, stopped drinking. Speak with these people and ask them questions. Ask them how they came to terms with their problem.
If you have dealt with an alcohol addiction yourself, you might want to reflect on your own experience.
Step 7: Educate Yourself
Sobriety can seem scary. If you research and bring resources to your loved one, then it allows them to look at it on their own time. Be ready with alcoholism treatment options once they say they will consider treatment.
If you take out the extra work for them, it will be easier for them to take in the information and decide.
Step 8: Do Not Enable
This means do not give them money, do not drink around them, and not make excuses for them. Supporting them can be as simple as not ordering a drink at dinner when you eat together or not buy wine for the house. Another option can be buying them food rather than handing over money for them to purchase food.
Whatever the case may be, do not take on their responsibilities, and do not provide financial support other than basic essentials or treatment options. Although these can seem extreme, how to help an alcoholic without rehab means being extremely vigilant. In cases of alcoholism, you can never be too careful.
Step 9: Be Supportive
Support your loved one through their recovery and sobriety. Treatment is hard, and if they have you by their side, it will make it that much easier. Whether it is about attending meetings, support groups, or simply educating yourself, all of this will go a long way in supporting them.
Mental Illness and Alcoholism
Mental illness and alcoholism go hand in hand. This is known as a dual diagnosis. Many times, if you have a mental health disorder such as bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety, alcohol can be a great short-lived cure. Unfortunately, alcoholism can lead to the worsening of a mental disorder.
For anyone with a mental illness, alcohol is something that should be avoided.
How to Get an Alcoholic to Go to Rehab
Although you may want to help someone you love to get better, it is not as simple as you want. Many people wonder whether or not you can force someone struggling with alcohol to go to rehab. The answer is no.
This leads to the question: How to help an alcoholic without rehab?
The first step is to avoid forcing them into treatment. If you force an alcoholic to go to rehab, a few things might happen, including:
- They might resent you.
- They might go and then check out early.
- They could relapse afterward since it was not their idea in the first place.
- They could refuse to go and leave your life, opening them up to more danger.
- They could lie and act like they have quit drinking, but continue to drink by trying to keep it hidden.
Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it? We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification. We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment in a way that works for you and your financial situation.
How to Get Help
If a loved one in your life is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, Resurgence Behavioral Health is here to help. Call us at 855-458-0050 to schedule your consultation.