If someone you love is addicted to alcohol, you may be worried, scared, and even sad. You probably also have a few questions about this addiction and about recovery. Here are some of those questions, along with their answers.
If your loved one still holds down a job and maintains relationships, are they really addicted?
Many alcoholics do eventually lose their jobs and struggle to maintain relationships with the ones they love. But these problems are not the definition of alcoholism, and someone can certainly have an addiction without experiencing job loss or relationship struggles.People who manage to be alcoholics while still functioning socially are sometimes called high-functioning alcoholics or functional alcoholics. Their alcoholism is still a problem because it can lead to health issues and mental health problems. And even if the person still manages to be functional, they still tend to be more of a burden on family members, coworkers, and friends because of their addiction.
Can your loved one get over their problem on their own?
Maybe they have told you "I'll stop tomorrow" or "I can stop whenever I want." You are right to be doubtful of these promises and assertions. It is very difficult for an alcoholic to quit drinking on their own. They have a far better chance of success if they enroll in a recovery program that gives them access to doctors and therapists who can guide them along the way. Some patients do best in an inpatient clinic where they stay for a few weeks or months. Others do better with outpatient addiction programs that entail attending meetings and appointments a few days per week. What's most important is that you help your loved one find some sort of program designed to help them deal with their alcoholism; they should not go it alone. You should take the time to learn about alcohol addiction recovery programs in your area.
What are your loved one's chances of recovery?
You may worry that this will be something your loved one struggles with for the rest of their life. Sadly, there is a chance that this will be the case. Only about 1/3 of adults recover from alcoholism. Some of these people never drink again, and others return to being low-risk drinkers, meaning that they drink from time to time, but in small and controllable amounts. Your loved one's chances of recovery will increase as long as he or she seeks treatment, so urging them to enroll in a program is the best thing you can do.