Dealing with a loved one’s alcoholism can be difficult. You may have tried to convince them to stop drinking, but they refuse. They often drink in secret and are embarrassed when their addiction is discovered. This article will provide you with the information necessary to help your sibling deal with their addiction so that it does not destroy them or those around them any more than it has already.
Alcoholism is a hazardous addiction that many people struggle with because it changes how someone sees or experiences reality (this often leads to depression as well, which further fuels the need to drink).Alcoholics often begin drinking to cope with their problems, but they never actually address them and end up feeling worse than before.
– They may not realize that alcohol is causing more harm than good because it numbs their emotions and causes blackouts (which prevents them from realizing how bad their life has gotten since they began drinking).
You should be concerned if your brother or sister:
- has a strong desire to drink and cannot stop once they start.
- hides alcohol around the house, including in their bedroom. They may even go as far as hiding it under floorboards or behind wallpaper so that you can’t find it.
- has blackouts where they can’t remember what happened while under the influence of alcohol. They may have done something illegal or hurt someone else but cannot recall anything about it when they sobered up.
- gets angry and defensive if you try to convince them that drinking is wrong for their health/life situation. Their response is more than just anger; it’s also irrational and entirely inappropriate for the situation.
They are uninterested in things they used to enjoy but still drink even when everyone else has stopped drinking or gone home. They may continue drinking until they pass out on your couch/floor/bed (or wherever you found them).
- lies about how much they drink or how often. They claim only to drink a little, but you know that their drinking is more than just casual, and it has become harmful for them emotionally/physically/financially (and the list goes on).
- tries to convince others not to stop drinking with them because “it’s our last night together”/”I’ll never see you again”/”we won’t get to hang out like this anymore.”
- gets physical when drunk, such as punching walls or throwing things. They may even become physically aggressive if questioned about their drinking habits or confronted for being intoxicated in public (this is especially true with younger children)
Effects of Alcoholism;
- The person may experience malnutrition, brain damage, and heart problems.
- They may succumb to diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver or cancer due to their drinking habits.
- Excessive alcohol consumption can result in dependence on other substances like opioids for pain relief and antidepressants if they’re suicidal (which is often) because of withdrawal symptoms from alcohol.
- If they are pregnant, drinking may result in fetal alcohol syndrome or miscarriage (especially true during the first trimester).
Treatment for Alcoholic addiction;
- The person may go to rehab or an inpatient treatment center for 30-90 days. This is often the best course of action because it allows them to detox and get their lives back on track without relapsing again (which happens when they don’t access professional help).
- They can also attend outpatient programs, which last around 12 weeks, and allow them to continue working/going to school while getting the help they need.
- They may attend counseling sessions with a therapist to help them work through their problems, which often stem from childhood trauma or social/mental issues they’ve never adequately addressed.
- They can also see a doctor for medications that reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. This is especially helpful when combined with other forms of treatment because it ensures that they won’t relapse due to cravings. The withdrawal symptoms will be as minimal as possible.
- They may also attend sessions with a psychiatrist, who can help them work through their mental health problems (depression/anxiety) so they don’t feel like drinking is the only way to escape from reality or manage stress in their life.
Professional help is the only solution to alcoholism, especially when it becomes poisonous. It may be difficult for your sibling to admit that they have a problem and need treatment, but this could save them from an early grave or end in jail. Call us at 833-497-3808.