How To Help An Alcoholic

Published by Raffa Bari | Last updated: 21st May 2024 | All Sources


Clinically Reviewed by Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

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All information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Last Reviewed: 23rd September 2022

How To Help An AlcoholicAlcohol addiction can take a heavy toll on the physical and mental health of the person involved, but it can also have a huge impact on the people around them. Whether you are a parent, partner, child, friend or even a colleague of an alcoholic, it can be very distressing to watch them spiral out of control or be on the receiving end of associated behaviours.

If you are worried that someone close to you has a drinking problem, you will naturally want to do everything you can to help them.

Giving up alcohol is not an easy thing for an alcoholic, but addiction treatment delivered at an alcohol rehab can give them the very best chance to make a full and long-lasting recovery.

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What Defines Alcoholism?

Not everyone who suffers from an alcohol use disorder drinks all the time or leads a chaotic lifestyle. High-functioning alcoholics can give every outward impression of leading a happy and successful life but might still be alcohol dependent. There is a wide range of people who may be suffering from alcoholism, and this affliction can affect anybody.

Definitions of alcoholism can vary, but members of Alcoholics Anonymous have more experience in this area than most. While the organisation does not have an official definition, they have developed some insights over decades of group therapy and shared stories. They say they “had a distinct physical desire to consume alcohol beyond our capacity to control it, in defiance of all rules of common sense. We not only had an abnormal craving for alcohol, but we frequently yielded to it at the worst possible times. We did not know when (or how) to stop drinking”.


Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

If you’ve ever asked yourself – ‘How much alcohol can I responsibly consume? ‘ you might be surprised at the answer. The Chief Medical Officer’s safer drinking advice for both men and women is that you should not regularly drink more than 14 units per week. The NHS, meanwhile, says that binge drinking in the UK is considered to be drinking more than 8 units in a single session for men and 6 units for women.

If you regularly drink above these amounts, you may have a problem, even if it is not a full-blown alcohol dependence that may require rehabilitation. Other signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse could include regularly getting drunk, engaging in risky or inappropriate behaviour, struggling with cutting down or stopping drinking and continuing to drink despite negative consequences.

See below list of all common signs you should look out for when determining whether a loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction.

Common Signs of Alcohol Abuse

  • Constantly Drinking
  • Engaging in Risky or Inappropriate Behaviour
  • Struggling with Cut-Out Drinking
  • Continued Drinking Despite Negative Outcomes
  • Drinking in the Morning or at Other Inappropriate Times
  • Anti-social Drinking Habits
  • Poor Personal Hygiene and No Concern Over Physical Appearance


Staging an Intervention

It can be difficult to know how to approach a suspected alcoholic. Many alcoholics will be in denial about the extent or even the existence of a problem, so it is often down to a friend or family member to make the first move.

Talking to the person in an open and honest way is a good place to start, but this may still not be enough. Staging a family intervention can be a good way to get the person to face up to the impact their drinking is having, not just on themselves but also the people around them. It’s important to do this in a calm and measured way, though, and not let passions turn into anger and recriminations. A guided intervention with a professional addiction recovery specialist can be a good way to approach this.


Inpatient or Outpatient Rehab

Inpatient alcohol rehab offers many clear benefits over outpatient treatment. You will be in a safe, tranquil environment, away from the temptations and triggers usually associated with your alcohol problem. You will be surrounded by experienced professionals and others going through their recovery journeys. You will also have access to round-the-clock support and the best evidence-based treatment options delivered in one place.

Outpatient treatment services can be valuable for some, but you will have to manage your own appointments and detox, both of which can be difficult when you are struggling with alcohol. You will also be surrounded by the same people and places associated with your drinking.


How Cassiobury Court Can Help

Cassiobury Court is a CQC-registered rehab with various treatments available to help you live a fulfilled life without the burden of addiction. We offer medically supervised detoxification while our therapies will help you explore the root causes behind your alcohol abuse and addiction. They will also help you develop strategies for relapse prevention. This holistic approach will give you the best chance to make a long-term recovery, and we also offer help and advice for friends and family members if you are looking to support your loved ones and want to know how to support a loved one through alcohol rehab.

While alcohol is a legal drug, it can produce some of the most severe withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include a wide range of physical and mental symptoms that can include cramps, nausea, shaking, anxiety and insomnia. In the worst cases you may experience delirium tremens, a condition that may lead to fever, hallucinations and even seizures, which can be potentially dangerous.

Due to the associated withdrawal symptoms, it is always better to undergo alcohol detox in a controlled and supervised environment such as a rehab or specialist detox clinic if at all possible. It will still not be pleasant but medical supervision will help ensure a safe detox and prescription medication may be available to alleviate some of the symptoms

While a rehab program will equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to avoid relapse going forward there will still be challenging times ahead and almost everyone needs some extra support, especially in the first few months. We offer a tailored aftercare package that can provide that support just when you need it, helping you to avoid relapse and maintain your long-term recovery.

Raffa Bari

Raffa Bari - Author Last updated: 21st May 2024

CQC Registered Manager

Raffa manages the day to day caring services here at Cassiobury Court. Dedicated to the treatment and well being of our visitors she is an outstanding mental health coach registered with BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists). Raffa has outstanding experience in managing rehabs across the country and is vastly experienced at helping people recover from drug and alcohol addictions.

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner)

Dr. Olalekan Otulana (Advanced Practitioner) - Medical Reviewer - Last Reviewed: 23rd September 2022

Dr. Olalekan Otulana MBChB, DRCOG, MRCGP, DFSRH, FRSPH, MBA (Cantab)

 Dr Otulana is a highly experienced GP and Addiction Physician. He has a specialist interest in Substance Misuse Management and he has a wide range of experience in the assessment, management (including detoxification) and residential rehabilitation of clients with various drug and substance addiction problems.  His main aim is to comprehensively assess patients with addiction problems and determine their treatment needs for medical detoxification treatments and psychological interventions. He is also experienced in managing patients who require dual drug and alcohol detoxification treatments.

A strong healthcare services professional with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Cambridge University Judge Business School.