How to Help an Alcoholic or Addict

  1. Article SummaryPrint
  2. Hospitals
  3. Treatment Clinics
  4. Interventions
  5. Psychotherapy
  6. Alcoholics Anonymous

There are a number of ways how to help an alcoholic or addict. When you are considering how to help an addict, consider that there are mental aspects to addiction and dependency as well as the physical addiction. Help for alcoholics and addicts can be found through hospitals, clinics, interventions, and therapies, as well as through groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

If you would like to learn more about the ways how to help an alcoholic or addict, contact our 24-hour hotline at 1-800-928-9139. Our service can give you all of the information you need to find the help you need.

Hospitals

Hospitals offer easy-to-reach assistance for alcoholics and those who are addicted to drugs. Many hospitals will allow seriously addicted individuals to be admitted through the emergency room. If someone is being admitted from a doctor's office, the general admissions department can help a person check in. When looking into how to help an alcoholic, this is the first resource that should come to mind. If you would like more information about how to help an alcoholic or addict, contact our hotline at 1-800-928-9139.

A hospital is equipped with both inpatient and outpatient facilities. Hospitals are able to handle serious complications due to alcohol or drug use, as well as the withdrawal symptoms a patient may go through. In an emergency situation, a hospital should always be the facility that is attended. If you expect a situation is an emergency, immediately call a hospital for assistance.

It is important to get proper treatment when addicted or dependent on drugs or alcohol. The right treatment can prevent serious symptoms, relieve discomfort, and prevent future withdrawals. If a patient has mild or moderate symptoms, an outpatient facility can be used and will know how to help an alcoholic or addict; however, serious symptoms need to be treated at an inpatient center. Severe withdrawal, for instance, usually requires pharmacological intervention to prevent serious side effects. The different types of drugs and alcohols can result in the need for varying treatments, so a hospital is well-informed to treat any patient's needs. Those with coexisting disorders are also able to be treated well within a hospital environment. Some serious withdrawal symptoms that require treatment in a hospital include:

  • Withdrawal seizures
  • Tremors
  • Hallucinations

"...going to a hospital is one way to start gathering the help that is needed."
With hospital intervention, a detoxification schedule can be maintained for alcoholics or those dealing with an addiction problem. When looking at how to help an alcoholic, withdrawal occurs within the first 48 hours, so it is important to seek the proper medical help as soon as possible. Serious withdrawal can sometimes cause side effects that need medical treatment, a slower detoxification method, or other medical advice, so going to a hospital is one way to start gathering the help that is needed.

Outpatient treatment at a hospital allows the patient to come and go. This may be the best way how to help an alcoholic that has to maintain a normal schedule in his or her day-to-day life. These treatments can include medications, therapies, and other treatment methods. The treatment usually takes place for a few hours, allowing the patient to maintain a job, family life, and a social life.

If you would like to learn more about the types of hospital treatments you or a loved one may receive for alcoholism or drug addiction, contact our toll-free hotline at 1-800-928-9139. This service can help you locate the best facility for your needs. As always, if it is an emergency, call your emergency services as soon as possible.

Treatment Clinics

There are many different treatment clinics that can handle drug and alcohol detox for patients. Rehabilitation clinics normally have inpatient procedures, outpatient procedures, or both. These clinics may focus on a certain type of drug or specialize in alcohol use, so it is important to call and find out before going. Many private doctors' offices will give a referral to a patient who needs inpatient or outpatient therapy, so if you would like information on the best clinic for your needs, speak with your healthcare provider.

Inpatient facilities allow patients to move in for an extended period of time. During this time, the patient has 24-hour access to nurses and doctors, as well as the support of peers. Inpatient clinics normally have a psychotherapist on staff, as well as nurses and medical doctors. During treatment, patients may have medications, group therapy treatment, family therapy, and other styles of drug or alcohol education. When looking at the ways how to help an alcoholic, it's important to take all of the different methods into consideration. Some may work better for some people than others, but a combination approach is usually best. If you would like more information about treatment clinics and therapies, call us at 1-800-928-9139.

"Psychological addictions are likely to be completed through an outpatient facility..."For outpatient procedures, some clinics hold Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, have therapies that allow patients to meet on their own schedules, and may complete psychotherapy for psychological addictions. Psychological addictions are likely to be completed through an outpatient facility unless the patient is having trouble maintaining his or her day-to-day affairs.

Outpatient facilities do not keep patients overnight, so there is likely not going to be a staff on-hand 24/7. These facilities are often best for mild-to-moderate addiction and dependency issues. If you are looking for how to help an alcoholic who has a mild or moderate case, this may be one of the best solutions. Outpatient facilities may not have the medications or facilities necessary to help someone with a more serious addiction, so the facility is likely to refer the patient to an inpatient service if it is not a condition the clinic can handle. Outpatient services are often used when a patient needs to have continued therapy or maintenance completed. This helps doctors keep up-to-date on the patient's progress and can help the patient stay off drugs or alcohol.

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Detox Center

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Combined rehabilitation and detox clinics are also available. These clinics often have two stages, the stage of detoxification, where patients get clean from drugs or alcohol, and then the stage of rehabilitation, where the patients interact with others, complete therapies, participate in educational courses, and work on social and life skills. Combined clinics are beneficial because the patient can stay in one place during the entire treatment. Patients live with each other, sometimes with roommates with similar conditions. This can help support emotional bonding, as well as giving the support a person needs to get through detoxification. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about the types of inpatient rehabilitation facilities near you, contact us at 1-800-928-9139. We can help you find the perfect solution to your needs.

Some facilities offer rapid detox, which allows a patient to "sleep" through withdrawal while the drugs or alcohol are flushed out of the body. This is how to help an alcoholic if the detoxification process needs to be done quickly. Rapid detox varies from clinic to clinic, but it is usually completed in one to eight hours. It is most commonly used for opiate detoxification, although it can be used for other addictions as well. During the treatment, the patient is anesthetized. When the patient awakes, he or she is kept at the facility for a few days until there is sure to be no withdrawal or other symptoms. The medical staff on-hand includes anesthesiologists, nurses, doctors, and therapists. Therapy is often completed in the days following the treatment, and it may be continued at an outpatient facility to help prevent relapse.

Interventions

When looking into how to help an alcoholic or drug addict, interventions are often completed when a person's friends or family members recognize a problem that the patient has yet to see or seek help for. An intervention can be done in many ways, from having a workplace intervention to having a family intervention. This is often the first step to treatment for those who have serious drug or alcohol abuse issues.

Importance of Treatment Plan

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Interventions can be completed when you're deciding how to help and alcoholic, and you will find that there is support from peers and medical facilities during this approach. Interventions are normally direct, which means the family and friends collectively confront the alcohol- or drug-dependent individual. Plans for a direct intervention include contacting an interventionist, having a treatment center ready for the individual's arrival and having planned a time for all of the members of the intervention to be available.

An intervention involves the members telling the individual how the drugs or alcohol are affecting the patient, as well as those around him or her. When deciding how to help an alcoholic, it is normal for members to prepare letters to read to the addict. These might state the negative impacts the addiction is having on everyone. During an intervention, the members may also give ultimatums; these are things the members will no longer provide unless the addict seeks help. In a workplace, this might mean losing a job if the addict doesn't comply, or in a family situation it could mean losing a car, child, or other item that is important to the addict.

A forced intervention is also used in some cases. This involved capturing an addict. This may be done by confronting him or her at home or work. A licensed psychotherapist from the government must be available for this type of intervention, and the addict must have shown the necessity for force.

If you or someone you know would like more information on interventions or intervention specialists near you, contact our free 24-hour hotline at 1-800-928-9139. We can help you find the intervention information you need to help those you love.

Psychotherapy

"Psychotherapy is often used while a patient is completing detox and rehabilitation."
Psychotherapy is often used while a patient is completing detox and rehabilitation. Psychotherapy could be completed as behavior therapy, which helps patients recognize negative behaviors in their lives. Once these behaviors are identified, the psychologist can help the patient change cues that trigger the negative behaviors and can help create more positive behaviors in their place.

Therapy is often used in correlation with medications, and therapy may be continued after rehabilitation has been completed. Talk therapy, family therapy, and group therapy are all known to be beneficial to those trying to stay sober. If you want to know how to help an alcoholic, it is important to become involved in these therapy sessions. If you would like more information about the group therapists or therapists near you, contact our hotline at 1-800-928-9139.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous is a group that meets and works with those who have trouble with alcoholism. The group is specifically designed with the question of how to help an alcoholic in mind.This group is aimed at both men and women, although some groups allow only men or only women in order to allow the participants a safe haven. The goal of AA is to allow participants to have peer support, to talk about their problems and issues, and to keep the members sober. There are no fees or dues for this group, so it is available to anyone that can come to a meeting. There are no associations with major religions, institutions, or organizations, so the members can feel comfortable no matter what their backgrounds are. The group has a 12-step program that members can follow. The steps are illustrated to help the members overcome alcoholism and to stay sober.
 

When you're deciding how to help an alcoholic or addict, it is important to keep in mind the severity of the condition. There are psychological and physical addictions, as well as withdrawal, dependencies, and tolerances to consider. Medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation centers can help you decide how to help an alcoholic or addict get the help he or she needs.