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2 Ways to Get an Alcoholic into Treatment

Learn two ways to get an alcoholic into treatment in this Howcast video featuring addictions specialist Paul J. Rinaldi, Ph.D.


I'm often asked by people how can I get my loved one who's abusing alcohol into treatment. Often people are very resistant to treatment. They often don't want to see themselves as having a problem. I can take care of it. I can stop but even when the evidence is that they can't. There's a couple of ways to get people into treatment.

One is to stage an intervention where you have an intervention specialist gather loved ones of the person and coach them into how to stage an intervention, and the professional stages the intervention along with the family. That's one way.

Another way is to really talk to the person. Rather than talk to them about you need to go away, you need to go into therapy, you need to go into a rehab, I often just talk to people about, "Are you curious about why other people are having trouble with your drinking? Let's just talk about it. Let's just ask questions." I often deal with young people and young people, in particular, they don't want to see themselves as needing any kind of treatment. But often when you appeal to people on an intellectual basis, "Why do you think other people have such a hard time with your drinking even though you think it's not a problem. Why is that? Or why are other people stopping drinking and you're not?"

Often people if you're non-threatening and asking them to just talk about it, they can often then not feel so defensive and be able to entertain the thought that maybe they need some help. So, again, those are two ways. One way is to stage an intervention where you have loved ones gather and you confront a person about their drinking and offer them treatment. Another way is a softer approach to actually try to peak their curiosity about what's happening for them in their life about their drinking.

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