Dealing With an Alcoholic Spouse in Denial


Sometimes an intervention, no matter how resistant your loved one is in the moment, is just what’s needed to help an alcoholic begin recovery. Most of us weren’t exactly thrilled to get sober, but once we made a start the benefits far outweighed our defiance. So when it comes to dealing with an alcoholic, the actions we have to take feel counterintuitive. For example, when a loved one calls you from jail asking for bail money, your love for them may drive you to give them the money.

how to help an alcoholic in denial

You may get to the point where you feel compelled to help your person get well. However, family members and friends often have deep emotional ties that prevent them from having the objective viewpoint necessary for treatment. Watching a family member, friend, or coworker with an alcohol use disorder can be difficult.

How To Deal With An Alcoholic In Denial

You can’t force an adult to go to drug or alcohol addiction treatment, but there are some ways you can help them gain the motivation they need to go there willingly. As we spoke about earlier, be sure to mention how you’ve been affected by the person’s drinking. Oftentimes, people with drug or alcohol addictions don’t acknowledge their problem because they don’t realize the harm it’s causing others. Sharing how their drinking has affected you may be a much-needed reality check for them.

But if someone in your life has three or more alcoholic beverages per day (two or more for women), they are consuming more than the recommended amount. Dietary Guidelines define moderate drinking as one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Binge drinking is defined as having four or more beverages in one drinking episode for women and five or more beverages for men (a typical drinking episode is around two hours). Denial of an overarching alcohol problem despite endorsement of specific alcohol-related difficulties may be central to development and continuation of alcohol use disorders (AUDs). However, there is limited information about which characteristics of drinkers and which drinking problems relate most closely to that denial.

Support for Me and My Family

Also, he or she usually will not stop drinking without some kind of outside pressure. This pressure may come from family, friends, clergy, other health care professionals, law enforcement or judicial authorities, how to help an alcoholic in denial or the employer. For example, a spouse may threaten divorce, or the alcoholic may be arrested for driving under the influence. Alcoholism is a disease that impacts the lives of Americans every day.

how to help an alcoholic in denial

A cursory review of tolerance reports over the years in SDPS AUD probands indicated that this variable had been endorsed by AUD probands at age 35 at a rate similar to the current AUD offspring. However, the proportions of probands who reported tolerance in the five years prior to interview decreased steadily with each subsequent interview. The key aspect of the tolerance question used here might be the emphasis on the recent five-year period.

Stop trying to save the alcoholic.

They’ll either tune out whatever you’re saying, not understand it because they’ve had too much to drink, or they’ll forget about it the next day. Contact us today to learn more about our family-focused interventions and how to get you or your loved one started toward recovery. At Family First Intervention, we recognize that not all intervention programs are designed or created equal.

  • The interventionist will debunk any myths and address their hesitations about addiction treatment.
  • You may think, «If they really love me, they wouldn’t lie to me.»

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics noted that nearly 60% of violent incidents against a domestic partner or family member were committed under the influence of alcohol. As is the case with any substance disorder, individuals struggling with alcohol addiction are likely to deny and get angry when confronted. For this reason, loved ones must know how to talk to an alcoholic that’s in denial. The cliche “the first step is admitting there’s a problem” exists because it’s true. Without acknowledgment of the addiction, there is no desire to get help. Someone with a substance abuse disorder may have an inkling that something is wrong, but they may remain adamant in their denial of a problem in order to keep drinking or using.

They also know how to give detailed advice on the best options for an effective alcohol recovery. Addiction treatment comes in many different forms and modalities. How can you determine the best treatment fit to help your loved one get sober? Understanding a Twelve Step Recovery Program for alcohol addiction and the importance of ongoing recovery programming and support groups.

There are hundreds of resources all over the country designed to address the issue of alcohol abuse and addiction. These include 24-hour hotlines, detox centers and rehab facilities. Alcoholism can take a devastating toll on a person’s physical health, emotional well-being, personal relationships and professional life.

How to support your loved one in getting help and getting healthy

Ultimately, the goal of an intervention is to get them to realize their lifestyle is unmanageable and that their destructive behaviors are affecting everyone involved. Nutritious meals and regular exercise are good for the body, but they don’t cancel out the negative effects of excess alcohol consumption. Drinking heavily is still causing damage to your body regardless of how healthy you currently feel. Unlike in movies, boldly confronting an alcoholic with the facts of his or her addiction and its consequences usually won’t have the desired effect of breaking through alcoholic denial.

  • It might seem like an effective strategy for reaching them, but it isn’t.
  • Ways you can help include avoiding alcohol when you’re together or opting out of drinking in social situations.
  • As the disease progresses and his drinking begins to cause real problems in his life, remarkably the denial likewise increases.
  • The person struggling with alcohol addiction is often the last person to see the damage done by alcohol.
  • People with alcohol use disorder (also called alcohol addiction) face a significant amount of judgment or stigma.
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