How Do You Know if You Have a Family Member Who Needs Treatment for Alcoholism Or Addiction?

How do you know if you have a family member who needs treatment? Many families have no idea until it is already too late. Their son or daughter has died from an accidental overdose or fatal accident while intoxicated. A father or mother is incapacitated or hospitalized in a coma. A wife or husband is jailed with a DUI arrest, or fired from a good job. Thankfully, for most families the problem has not yet caused such a catastrophic result. The signs and symptoms can be subtle. Often family members will have suspicions but doubt their own eyes and ears because they don’t want to believe it. Families almost always have the sense that something is not quite right, even before they have clear evidence about drugs or alcohol. If you’re reading this blog, you may have a good reason for concern. 

Two out of three adults in America drink alcohol, and most of them do not have a problem. About 65% percent have tried an illegal drug, including marijuana. The same percentage drink alcohol at least occasionally, but only 12-15% will develop a drug or alcohol abuse problem. When you consider that 10% of the population drinks 80% of the total alcohol consumed in the United States it’s clear that the one person out of ten with a current problem has significantly different behavior from everyone else.

How can anyone know when someone has crossed the line into problem drinking or problem drug abuse? The simple answer is that we know a problem exists when drug or alcohol use causes a betrayal of one’s own personal values. The parent who loves their children becomes emotionally distant, or absent from important parts of their lives. The employee who takes pride in their work becomes unreliable, missing work or failing assignments. The student with important life goals loses interest and drops classes. The happy, hopeful, and optimistic person becomes bitter, lost, and abandons the positive things in life that they once considered indispensable to allow them to be their best selves.

Alcoholism and addiction can make even the best of families feel lost and hopeless. They need a lifeboat of practical support when they feel they are drowning. Family members are often hurting as much or more than the person who suffers from problems with addiction, but these wounded families are most often the only source of strength and support to solve this problem and save lives that could be lost forever. RecoveryWorks can be a lifeboat to support your family, with Wednesday noon Al Anon and the Friends and Family program that is an integral part of our Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program.

Call 858-530-9112 and go to for more information.

Leave a reply