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Addiction affects more than just the individual who’s abusing alcohol – it affects the whole family. One person’s drinking can lead to money problems, trust issues, arguments, bad decision making and all sorts of other conflicts within the home. That’s why it’s often the alcoholic’s partner or family member who ends up seeking out the treatment options for alcohol abuse.

When looking for treatment, enlisting professional help is the best way to go. It is the safest, most effective and time-efficient way to treat an addiction. Some people choose to work through their problems with alcohol abuse by themselves. This is not recommended, however, because self-treatment is more likely to end in relapse. Working with a professional can greatly improve the negative situation that has been going on at home, and help your family prepare a long-term plan to prevent relapse down the line.


Why get professional help?

A professional interventionist is the first person you should contact if you’re having difficulty getting your loved one to accept treatment for alcohol addiction. They can coach your family on how to work together as a group to motivate change and they can help you choose the best treatment plan for your specific and unique situation.

Addiction professionals, like interventionists and treatment providers, can help you get a fresh perspective on your situation and identify the factors contributing to your family’s alcohol problems. They will have seen dozens, if not hundreds of other cases addiction in their career prior to yours and will be able to bring more wisdom and experience to the table than you could on your own.


What are the treatment options?

Your treatment options for alcohol abuse include:

  • Inpatient alcohol rehab

This is the most intensive treatment option for alcoholism and can help most people   achieve sobriety in a short time and learn new life skills to prevent relapse in the future and keep moving forward.

  • Medical detox

For those people suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms whenever they attempt to quit drinking, a medical detox might be necessary. Severe cases of alcoholism can lead to dangerous, potentially life threatening symptoms including seizures, hallucinations and the neurological disorder, Delirium Tremens which is why the. Safest place to detox is in a hospital setting.

  • Family Therapy

Addiction is best understood in the context of the person’s family background. Trauma, dysfunctional communication styles, and strained relationships might be contributing to the drinking, and family therapy can help you identify those factors and begin the work of healing them.

  • Outpatient Rehab

This option offers intensive treatment without having to move out of your own home or quit your job.

  • Group Therapy

Working with other people in similar situations can help your loved one address underlying emotional problems, and find a support system of understanding peers.

  • Alcohol Counseling

Individual counseling for alcohol abuse can help you uncover why you’re drinking to cope, and prepare you to face difficult situations without the help of any alcohol.

  • 12-Steps Meetings

This time-tested program has helped countless addicts achieve a healthier way of life through regular support group meetings.

  • Withdrawal Management

A healthcare professional can help decide if medication or a supervised detox is right for your unique case.

  • Sponsor Programs

A sponsor is someone who will support your loved one every step of the way through recovery. Sponsors are people who have overcome addiction in the past and know what it’s like to be in your shoes. Usually, you will meet your sponsor in a 12-steps group.

  • Contingency Management

This is like a reward system for staying clean and it can be highly motivating. Contingency Management is usually just one part of your larger rehab or counseling program.


Benefits of professional treatment

The family can benefit in many ways from having the alcoholic center professional treatment. You will have the opportunity to:

Rebuild Family Relationships

As your loved one advances through the treatment options for alcohol abuse that you’ve all selected, you’ll find that they are more emotionally available and you will have the chance to rebuild broken bonds. The loving, kind, and trustworthy person you fell in love with, or used to know will come back and the troubling alcoholic will stop wreaking havoc in your lives.

Strengthen Trust

Active addicts tend to lie… a lot. They have to hide their drinking and its consequences, and minimize the amount of alcohol they’re really consuming to continue on their path. Over time though, the lies get old and your community will start to lose faith in their word. Anyone in your circumstances would be frustrated; it’s completely natural to lose trust when someone is abusing it.

When you see that your loved one is truly making progress and committing to positive change in the treatment options for alcohol abuse that you’ve chosen together, that trust will start to come back. It may take time, but little by little you can restore the trusting bond you once shared.

Work on Pre-existing Problems in the home

One of the most important treatment options for alcohol abuse is Family Therapy. This is a type of counseling where immediate family members and the alcoholic are brought together to talk things out as a group. Everyone gets a chance to voice their experiences and feelings which is an incredibly valuable tool for recovery.

We recommend it for every case of addiction, because this disease is truly a family condition. Factors related to development that arose during the alcoholic’s childhood can affect the way they behave as adults and in their own families. By working together in family counseling, you will be able to uncover old traumas that are affecting you all today and begin the work of healing.

Find New Direction

Many of the treatment options for alcohol abuse that you will encounter involve making solid, productive plans for the future. These may relate to ongoing counseling, accountability programs (such as regular or random drug testing), seeking new employment, advancing one’s education, and moving forward as a family unit.

If the alcohol addiction has been keeping your family in ‘defense’ mode, you may not be advancing in life the way you all want and need to. It’s important to heal, so you can go back to dedicating your time and energy into the rest of what life has to offer.


  1. Thanks for elaborating on the benefits of getting professional help for your alcohol addiction. I agree that one of the biggest benefit is that you can get an outside perspective that you couldn’t get otherwise. It’s nice to get a different perspective from a professional that can give you an unbiased answer and point of view.

  2. I work as the psychiatric consultant in a substance abuse treatment center. I have come to use the terms “Alcohol use disorder” and “Substance use disorder” rather than addiction, simply because the words “addiction” and “addict” are so often used pejoratively. I often tell my patients, “You have a disorder that very much parallels diabetes: both are chronic but manageable, both have some genetic links, and both have times when you just will want to give up.

    Although not everyone in the recovering community agrees, medical assisted treatment can be helpful for those who really struggle. Our clinic uses methadone and suboxone to treat opiate use disorder, and we sometimes use naltrexone and Campral for alcohol use disorder. These are NOT perfect solutions, but particularly early in recovery can be a useful way to get through those times when you just want to say, “Screw this! It’s not worth staying clean and sober.”


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