A person with a friend, family member, or other loved one with a drinking problem is likely in need of guidance as to how to really know when a drinker needs professional help. One indicator that a loved one faces an alcohol abuse or addiction problem centers on the various types of excuses to drink. An old cliché associated with alcohol abuse and addiction is that an individual with an alcohol drinks when he or she is happy and drinks when he or she is not happy.
Armed with some basic information about drinking and alcohol abuse and addiction, a person is in a better position to provide positive, healthy support and assistance to a person laboring under an alcohol abuse or addiction issue.
Alcohol Abuse Statistics
Statistics associated with alcohol abuse and addiction are alarming. The reality is that alcohol abuse and addiction related problems touch the lives in some manner or another of every person in the United States (and in other countries the world over), according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. For example:
- Approximately 17 million adults in the United States have what is classified as an alcohol abuse disorder, according to the NIAAA.
- Approximately 88,000 people die annually from otherwise preventable alcohol related deaths. This includes over 10,000 drunk driving traffic fatalities.
- More than 10 percent of all children in the United States live with a parent laboring under an alcohol problem (abuse or addiction).
- Nearly a quarter of all adults in the United States report binge drinking in the past month.
Common Excuses to Drink
A loved one who has a problem with alcohol abuse or addiction oftentimes utilizes one or another of the more common excuses for drinking alcohol, including drinking in excess. These excuses include:
- A hallmark of a person with a drinking problem is using trivial reasons as excuses for drinking — and usually for drinking to excess. In the grand scheme of things, these justifications for drinking truly are insignificant.
- Another common excuse for drinking is the contention that the person needs to celebrate some perceived achievement, accomplishment or success. If a person has been laboring under the effects of alcohol abuse or addiction for a more extended period of time, the perceived accomplishment might be a matter of routine for anyone else.
- A person suffering from an alcohol problem will use a perceived setback or negative event as a reason for drinking (again, usually drinking to excess). As is the case with drinking to celebrate success, the perceived negative thing that motivates drinking may be something that a sober person would deem insignificant.
- A person laboring under a drinking problem oftentimes cites loneliness as a reason for drinking.
- Although it may seem a cliché, another common excuse for drinking by a person with an alcohol issue is that he or she contends someone else “drove” him or her to imbibe.
Helping a Loved One Get Inpatient Treatment
In the final analysis, a person with an alcohol abuse or addiction problem cannot be forced into inpatient treatment with any hope of that individual really finding meaningful success in the process. A person must make at least a grudging decision to agree to entering into an inpatient treatment program for there to be any real hope of success (in the short and the long terms).
With this in mind, one strategy an individual may want to consider employing as a means of getting a person into an inpatient treatment programm is to conduct an intervention. An intervention is an organized gathering of individuals connected with the person such as family members, friends, employers, or physicians. These people come together in a safe environment and in a non-threatening way to share their personal reflections and hopefully convince the person to seek help.
Benefits of Inpatient Treatment
A number of significant benefits can be realized through participation in an inpatient alcohol treatment program. These include:
- A hallmark benefit of inpatient treatment is that a person with an alcohol problem is able to receive the professional care needed in a safe environment. This includes protection from outside influences and factors that historically aggravated a person’s alcohol use, abuse or addiction.
- Another benefit of inpatient treatment is that a person is able to maintain a sharp focus on sobriety and recovery efforts. A person generally need not contend with outside issues. Indeed, during the early days of inpatient treatment, a person is likely to have very restricted contact with even loved ones “on the outside.”
- Inpatient treatment permits a person to interact with a group of other individuals who are striving to gain sobriety and enter into a state of recovery. This level of support oftentimes proves invaluable to a person with an alcohol abuse or addiction issue.
Anyone who is making excuses to drink should take an honest look at their behavior and admit that it is time to seek help.