More often than not, you as a friend or family member recognize that someone you love needs alcoholism or addiction treatment well before they do. If you think someone has a problem you are probably correct. However, how you approach this with them is quite important. When you “Tell” someone something you are probably pushing them into a corner. When you push, they resist! That is human nature. If your desire is to help them then how you communicate that message counts! Being right is secondary, so remember it is best to be happy than to be right! Especially in life and death decisions and alcoholism and addiction are life and death issues!
How do I know a loved one needs treatment?
When a loved one is failing to uphold their responsibilities and you are aware that alcohol or drugs are playing a significant part in the challenges, treatment may be an option. If a loved one has already admitted that they have or had an issue with addiction then odds are they are in need of intervention. When I say intervention I am not suggesting a formal intervention, I am suggesting a response to their issue or behaviors.
If you recognize drug or alcohol-seeking behaviors, like drinking when your or their standards are to be abstinent, like before noon, or 5 pm, whatever your group’s beliefs may be. If you find bottles or hidden alcohol, there is a good chance that alcoholism is an issue. If this is the case, some level of treatment may be an option.
Poor impulse control
If you have a plan to go to dinner and a movie and your loved one gets on a roll with alcohol at the restaurant, or maybe even worse, he cancels the movie option in favor of more drinking! If a night out at a club, turns into a three-day binge, drug-seeking excursion, or some behavioral issue like a fist fight, or an inappropriate argument with you or another loved one, treatment may be needed.
If your loved one, begins to avoid their financial responsibilities, maybe they begin skimming out of the family savings, or padding their expense account at work, a deeper look into their alcohol and drug consumption. I say drug consumption here, but the truth is, most drugs are illegal therefore treatment is probably the option, but, if they are on prescribed medications that are addictive, and you are aware they are abusing these prescriptions, treatment is a great option.
If your loved one has lost their job, grown disillusioned with their “dream job,” or is on the brink of unemployment and it is fairly clear addiction is a factor, they may need treatment. Tardiness missed work days, or citations and write-ups by an employer is a clear signal that your friend or loved one is in distress. A poor attitude about their employer, co-workers or their industry as a whole may be a sign that there are addiction issues. Of course, r=these issues in and of themselves are not an indication of addiction.
In today’s culture, there are several options when it comes to treatment. It all starts with a professional assessment. The options range from a simple addiction assessment to counseling, therapy, medical supervised detox or withdrawal management, inpatient rehab, residential treatment, and various levels of outpatient treatment. To learn more ask for professional guidance. If your loved one needs treatment and you want to research treatment options start by reading our article on “Choosing the Right Rehab!”
The bottom line is simple, if you have a suspicion, it is best for you to do your homework. Address the issue with love. Get professional advice. And always remember if you push, they push back!