Addiction to alcohol can wreak havoc in the life of not just the addict but also his/her family members and close friends. Usually, the first obstacle on the road to recovery is denial on the part of the addict in acknowledging the problem. Moreover, even if a person acknowledges the addiction, the stigma associated with substance abuse makes the person hesitant in seeking treatment. Below are a few things that we can do to counter addiction and its damaging effects:
• Creating awareness in the society – Our society has long lived by stereotypes and unless we can create more awareness and change the basic assumptions that people make about addicts and addiction, it is impossible to bring about change. An addict is a part of a family and a family, in turn, is a part of the community. If the person struggling with an addiction is isolated and stigmatized at home or at work, it can only result in worsening of his addiction and stopping him from taking remedial action. Modern medicine has long recognized addiction as a treatable disease, and that being the case; people need to stop taking too harsh a view of the problem.
• Encourage involvement of friends and family - More often than not, causes of addiction to alcohol or drugs are rooted in a person’s immediate environment which includes close family and friends. One of the best ways to get a person to agree to treatment is to involve family members in the process. From confronting the person with his addiction problem to his eventual recovery, each stage requires love and support from the patient’s near and dear ones along with the actual treatment for getting a positive outcome. Moreover, the process of healing requires family members to visit the patient regularly, reflect on the problems that contributed to the patient’s addiction in the first place and what changes can be made to create an atmosphere that enables the patient to live a life of sobriety.
• Holistic approach to rehabilitation: Depending on one’s means and requirements, a patient opts for an addiction treatment management consulting services either for an in-patient treatment center or an out-patient one. In both the cases, it is important for the consulting center to have a holistic approach to healing. The goal should not be to simply deal with the person’s addiction and withdrawal symptoms, the person needs to heal both mentally and physically. Moreover, he/she needs to feel confident enough to face the society after being discharged from the rehab or on the completion of treatment. Use of psychotherapy and alternative healing methods like yoga and meditation can help the person become fitter as well as more composed.
• Counseling support: Both the patient and the family members benefit from counseling sessions and meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).Counseling is required to understand how to approach a family member who is an addict and how to show their support before, during, and after the treatment. Attending meetings of AA and NA can be comforting and one can learn from former addicts and the experiences of others who are facing similar issues with their loved ones.
Dealing with alcohol addiction treatment programs requires a total change in the attitude of all members of society. From turning a blind eye to the problem to creating a stigma around it, the negativity only isolates people, makes them resistant to treatment and builds even more resentment. It is only through understanding and support that this disease can be defeated.