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A Guide for Encouraging a Loved One to Seek Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

group getting treatment for alcohol addiction

It’s hard to go through challenges and hard times in life. For many, it’s equally as difficult to watch a loved one struggle. If you care for someone who battles alcohol use disorder, you’ve witnessed the problems addiction causes. Financial difficulties, relationship troubles, and job loss are all side-effects of becoming chemically dependent upon alcohol. You may find yourself frustrated thinking quitting sounds easy: Just stop drinking. But for those who struggle with alcohol use disorder, just stopping out-of-the-blue isn’t an option. Alcoholism is a chronic brain disease that requires medical treatment from an alcohol addiction treatment program. Like any disease, without proper treatment and support to heal, the condition will only worsen. If you need help for a loved one in trouble in the Massachusetts area, call Rockland Recovery today. In the meantime, here’s how to talk to your family member about their alcohol addiction.

Learn the Facts About Alcohol Use Disorder

According to experts, alcohol use disorder is defined as heavy drinking that balloons into severe drinking. For years, many people referred to alcohol use disorder as alcoholism. The two terms can be used interchangeably, but the preferred clinical and cultural term is alcohol use disorder since we now know alcohol abuse or addiction is a disease requiring medical treatment. It’s classified as a chronic brain disease. Those who have it cannot moderate the amount of alcohol they drink daily without the help from a substance abuse treatment program, regardless of how negatively it has affected their lives.

A person who is addicted to alcohol is not weak. They are not drinking to get attention. Lastly, they are not drinking to hurt themselves or other people. In reality, they simply cannot stop because the alcohol has caused changes to take place in the chemical composition in their brain that makes alcohol a necessity. Someone who has been abusing alcohol long-term can, quite literally, die without it.

So, when you sit down with your loved one to discuss how to seek treatment for alcohol addiction, be kind. Nobody wants to suffer from alcoholism. Nobody wants to live through financial ruin, calls from creditors, and alienated loved ones. These are all just consequences of a disease over which they have no control. Understanding the helplessness that accompanies alcohol use disorder may help you better start a conversation around the disease.

Talking With a Loved One About Alcohol Addiction

You may feel helpless to assist a loved one who suffers from alcohol use disorder, but you may be more instrumental in their recovery at an addiction treatment center program than you realize. When talking with your family member about their addiction, remember the following techniques:

  • Choose a time when they’re sober
  • Offer your support
  • Talk about treatment options and offer to go with them to admission
  • Discuss how their disease affects you and share your concern for their health
  • Avoid preaching, lecturing, or labeling them an alcoholic
  • Ask them outright to seek treatment for alcohol addiction

If your family member isn’t ready to seek treatment, there’s not much more you can do. It’s up to them to reach a point where they admit they need help. Offer your support in the meantime. More importantly, seek support for yourself from groups such as Al-Anon or Codependents Anonymous (CODA).

Where to Seek Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

If your family member is ready to seek treatment for alcohol addiction in the Massachusetts area, contact Rockland Recovery. At Rockland Recovery, our addiction treatment staff gives clients the tools and education they need to stop medicating with alcohol and drugs. Regardless of where your loved one falls on the scale of addiction, we’ll devise an individualized care plan at our sober living program that meets their recovery needs. Call us today at 855.732.4842 for more information on how to seek treatment for alcohol addiction.

Medical Reviewer Kate Perfetti, LADC II

Medically Reviewed by Kate Perfetti, LADC II

Kate is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor who has worked in the field of substance abuse for the last nine years. At Rockland Recovery, Kate works to provide resources to the local community and engage and progress Rockland Recovery’s alumni program.


Take the First Step Toward Recovery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, we encourage you to request a confidential call to explore treatment options, ask questions, and receive support from experienced professionals. We know taking this first step can be challenging, but it’s a courageous and important part of the recovery journey.

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