Can Addicts Start Anew? Career Paths Ideal For Former Alcoholics

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After overcoming their addiction and dependence on alcohol, many alcoholics find it hard to start anew. This is particularly true with their careers as many people do not understand that it is possible for someone to change, even after they’ve gone down a spiral. The sad truth is, people— be it strangers, co-workers, or bosses— tend to ostracize former alcoholics even after they have been treated.

Still, there is hope. Experts like addiction rehabilitation specialist Dr. Maher Soudah, the director of Kaiser Wellness Center, advise “rehab alumni” to make their recovery worthwhile through finding a career path that would not only accept them for who they are but would also be beneficial to others who are suffering the same medical condition.

Returning To Your Former Job and Deciding When To Move On

As mentioned earlier, people have a bad habit of shunning people who had a bad history even though they’ve changed. Even so, it is still possible for former addicts to return to their former careers so long as it doesn’t bring them closer to the substance they had trouble with in the first place.

In fact, specialists at the Kaiser Wellness Center, led by Dr. Soudah, strongly recommend treated alcoholics to not make any drastic changes to their lifestyle, including their professions, during the first year following their recovery. This is because people who have undergone treatment already have a lot on their plate as they change for the better. While these changes are positive, it might still come with stress, which is a well-known trigger among many alcoholics.

After the year is up, it is time to decide if it is necessary to move on to a new career path. If the current job instigates circumstances that might lead to a relapse more often than what you’re comfortable with, it may be time to look for a more suitable profession.

Recommended Career Paths After Rehab

Looking for a new job isn’t easy, even for people with no history of alcohol dependency. Taking this into consideration, former alcoholics might find it challenging to look for a new job as they would have to adjust to new people who might have different opinions about their past struggles.

Even so, it is not impossible. Dr. Soudah and the rest of the addiction rehabilitation specialists at Kaiser Wellness Center see it fit for former addicts to look for jobs that have regular work hours, predictable routine tasks, clear expectations, reasonable working conditions, and room for the individual to grow.

While regular daytime jobs might fit the bill, former alcoholics might also want to consider putting their history with rehabilitation to good use by choosing one of the following career paths:

Substance Abuse Counselor

A substance abuse counselor is someone who works closely with an addict or alcoholic to aid him or her in overcoming matters that might make staying sober quite challenging. While this job might be demanding, it is considered as one of the most rewarding, especially for people who experienced rehabilitation first-hand.

Addiction Social Worker

Like a substance abuse counselor, an addiction social worker must also have close ties with an alcoholic or addict as he or she maintains a detailed file about the individual. Among the information people in this career path look out for are the person’s addiction, his triggers, and the treatments went through. An addiction social worker is also responsible for making a treatment plan for the rehabilitation of the individual and constantly monitors his progress.

Addiction Rehabilitation Assistant

An addiction rehabilitation assistant coaches people enrolled in a recovery program by assisting them through the treatment devised by an addiction social worker. He or she also serves as a nurse for in-patient clients by helping them with their meals, managing household chores, and ensuring that they take all prescribed medicines.

 

 

Functioning Alcoholics To Addicts: 4 Stages

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Because of the unfortunate consequences that go with it, alcoholism has been a focus of negative stereotypes through the years. Though spreading the negative effects of alcohol addiction was meant to make people turn away from the substance, it has become a source of stigma. Because of this, the term “functioning alcoholic” was born.

Experts in addiction rehabilitation like Dr. Maher Soudah explained that the term “functioning alcoholic” is usually used by people who are in denial that they have the chronic medical condition. This is because people’s connotation of the term “alcoholic” is far from being good, making those who are suffering from the condition find a way to make themselves feel good even though they are dependent on alcohol.

Behavioral Signs Of A Functioning Alcoholic

To understand them better, Dr. Soudah and his team of experts at Kaiser Wellness Center gathered information on the behavioral signs that characterize a functioning alcoholic. Among them are:

  • Having blackouts and forgetting what happened while they were drunk
  • Failing to stick to a drinking limit they set for themselves
  • Trying to hide when drinking
  • Becoming defensive or angry when someone brings up the possibility that they may be alcoholic
  • Having a “pre-drinking” drinking session before their actual night out
  • Kidding around about being an alcoholic
  • Replacing food with alcohol
  • Drinking early in the morning or throughout the day

After going through this list, it is important to understand that “functioning alcoholics” still suffer from the chronic medical condition and that they still need help. However, it is also important to note that alcoholism has different stages that may come at varying periods for individuals.

4 Stages Of Alcoholism

The path to addiction is a troublesome one. Even so, it is important to understand which stage of alcoholism the person is in to help him avoid falling down the spiral.

Stage #1: Binge Drinking or Occasional Abuse

According to experts, the person who may have alcohol problems will make excuses that they only drink occasionally. However, doing so is actually a sign that they are already at the first stage of alcoholism.

Based on specialist studies, people who binge drink are in an experimental stage where they occasionally consume massive amounts of alcohol and try out new kinds of liquor to see how much they can have. As far as specialists are concerned, men who consume at least 5 alcoholic beverages or women who drink 4 or more within two hours can be considered as binge drinkers.

Moreover, binge drinkers and occasional alcohol abusers are usually young adults and teens. Often, they do it out of peer pressure more than trying to escape their problem-stricken realities.

Stage #2: Increased Drinking

After binge drinking is the increase in alcohol consumption. During the first and experimental stage of alcoholism, a person often maximizes his limits with alcohol. In the second stage, they try to exceed it. With that said, individuals who are already in this stage often find excuses to consume alcohol. That is, instead of drinking when there is an occasion, they make up reasons to come together with a goal of getting drunk together.

Increase in alcohol consumption often happens because alcoholic people are bored, want to ease stress, or are feeling a bit down.

Stage #3: Drinking Problems

A “problem drinker” is someone who feels consequences of excessive alcohol consumption. Based on experts’ account on the matter, the person with drinking problems show signs that alcohol is already interfering with his or her usual activities.

Among the common dilemmas that result from problem-drinking is an unexpected change of preference in friends, relationship conflicts, lower social activity, difficulty in speaking to strangers, and overall erratic behavior. Sometimes, people in this stage of alcoholism might also encounter problems with the law, depression, and anxiety.

People who are already at this stage may still not suffer from withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking but dropping the habit would be extra difficult because of the attachment they have formed with the substance.

Stage #4: Alcohol Dependence

Dependence on alcohol comes as the fourth and final stage of alcoholism. During this stage, the individual already requires higher quantities of alcohol to feel its effects and might also suffer from withdrawal symptoms if they fail to consume the substance.

While some people consider themselves “functioning alcoholics” since they can still get up, go to work, and act on their responsibilities, their bodies aren’t well. Even so, it is never too late to seek help.

While it is easier to treat the condition during its early stages, experts like Dr. Maher Soudah and his team at Kaiser Wellness Center can turn your life around even if you’re already at the final stage of alcoholism.

 

Alcoholic Vs. Heavy Drinker: Understanding The Difference

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Many people make the mistake of identifying alcoholics and heavy drinkers as one and the same. But the truth is, there is a huge difference between them in a sense that being considered as a person who drinks hard is very different from someone who suffers from a condition called “alcoholism.”

Dr. Maher Soudah, the director of Kaiser Wellness Center, explains that the key difference between the two is this: a heavy drinker is someone who excessively consumes alcohol on his own volition while an alcoholic has dependency issues with the substance.

However, even with this explanation, people still find it challenging to distinguish the difference between the two, especially when a non-specialist in the field takes on the task of identifying which one their loved one has become. Taking that into consideration, addiction rehabilitation specialists from the Kaiser Wellness Center led by Dr. Soudah compiled the following guidelines in differentiating a heavy drinker from an alcoholic.

Defining Alcoholism

Based on what was stated earlier, alcoholism is the difference between alcoholics and heavy drinkers. Keeping that in mind, Dr. Maher Soudah and his team believes that it is important for people to understand the definition of alcoholism.

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder, is a chronic disease characterized by dependency on the liquors. This condition, which is also considered as a mental illness, is long-term and may result in dangerous consequences. It is also known as a behavioral problem on compulsive consumption of alcoholic beverages.

While most people in the adult age can be considered “excessive” or heavy drinkers, only a portion of them can be considered an alcoholic. In fact, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Alcohol Program Lead Dr. Robert Brewer clarified that only 9 out of 10 excessive drinkers are non-alcoholics.

Symptoms Of Alcoholic Vs. Heavy Drinkers

Among the most common symptoms that are similar between alcoholics and heavy drinkers are the massive amounts of alcohol they consume. However, there are also a lot of differences between the two. A heavy drinker would often consume alcohol with other people while an alcoholic would often deny that he or she has a drinking problem and would do so alone and in secret.

Also, alcoholics cannot resist their urge to drink, so much so that they subconsciously do everything in their power to have it. Here are the most common signs that a person is an alcoholic.

  • Inability to limit alcohol consumption
  • Experiencing blackout episodes where the person forgets chunks of their everyday life
  • Losing interest in things that the person was previously passionate about
  • Stashing alcohol in unusual places
  • Feeling good after chugging down liquor to get drunk quickly
  • Issues with law enforcement
  • The occurrence of workplace problems
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, trembling, and excessive sweating when not being able to drink
  • Irritability, particularly during instances when alcohol is not readily available
  • Higher alcohol tolerance

Causes Of Alcohol Dependence

Alcohol dependence doesn’t happen overnight. Often, it happens after the person experiences problems that seem unsolvable and causes a stressful situation. However, it is not the only cause of alcoholism. Dr. Soudah explained that other factors contribute to alcoholism, including their genes, the age when the person started drinking, and ease of access to the substance.

Mental problems like depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem is also a factor that may cause a person to become an alcoholic as some of them— those who receive little or no emotional support from their peers and family— use the substance to self-medicate.

Other factors like media, advertising, and peer pressure are also seen as culprits for the increasing number of heavy drinkers, who are considered “almost alcoholics.”

Get Help

If you have a loved one who is a heavy drinker but is leaning towards becoming an alcoholic, seek help from addiction rehabilitation specialists like Dr. Maher Soudah and his team at Kaiser Wellness Center.

 

 

Kaiser Wellness Center: Health Dangers Of Alcohol Addiction

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Alcohol is often considered as an escape from people’s problems, but it actually causes more trouble than good. In fact, medical experts have linked alcohol consumption and abuse to over 60 diseases, including some ailments that aren’t usually considered to be caused by chronic heavy drinking.

Because of this, specialists at the Kaiser Wellness Center led by its director, Dr. Maher Soudah, decided to explain the dangers of alcohol addiction to several vital organs in the body to help both casual and heavy drinkers make a wise choice whenever someone invites them for a drink.

 

 

 

Liver

Among all the vital organs affected by alcohol consumption, the liver is

 

probably the most popular. Unfortunately, the fame didn’t come from a positive source as statistics shown that many people who were diagnosed with liver diseases are heavy drinkers or alcohol addicts. Some of these diseases are alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and steatosis or fatty liver.

The liver is arguably the organ that has it worst when a person is addicted to alcohol because it is the one in charge of sifting through and eliminates toxins that enter the body. After taking in too many toxins from this substance, the liver turns cirrhotic, which is a point when the organ’s tissues become a fibrous mass of scar tissue that can no longer filter the blood.

Heart and Blood

Cardiovascular diseases are common among heavy drinkers because it paves the way for platelets to cluster together and form blood clots that may cause a stroke or heart attack. On top of that, heavy drinkers are seen to be at a high risk of acquiring cardiomyopathy, a condition that eventually leads to heart failure.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) and ventricular fibrillation (VF)— conditions signified by abnormal heart rhythm— have also been linked to excessive alcohol consumption. These ailments are considered fatal as it can lead to heart failure, especially when the chaotic twitching of the heart muscles remain untreated for an extended period.

Heavy drinking may also lead to anemia, a condition signified by abnormally low red blood cells, which can trigger symptoms like shortness of breath, light-headedness, and fatigue. Hypertension is also common among binge drinkers.

Pancreas

Among the diseases caused by excessive alcohol drinking is pancreatitis, or the inflammation of the pancreas. With this condition, the pancreas, which produces insulin and other digestive enzymes, become inflamed and fails to function properly, causing a series of problems with the digestive process. Acute pancreatitis can be treated with medication and a change in lifestyle (removal of alcohol), but chronic pancreatitis proves to be more difficult to deal with and is deemed life-threatening.

Kidneys

Another vital organ that can be damaged by excessive alcohol drinking is the kidneys. When a person consumes alcohol, the balance of water and minerals in the body is thrown off, causing an array of conditions like a severe decrease in their blood sugar, seizures, and signs of dehydration. Also, hypertension caused by heavy drinking may also cause severe damage to the kidney’s tissues, which experts consider as the leading cause of kidney failure.

Brain and Nerves

Unlike the other parts of the body mentioned earlier, most people are unaware that alcohol consumption can also affect the nervous system in the long-run.

Aside from the temporary mood changes and slowed coordination, heavy drinkers are also at risk for a form of nerve damage called alcoholic neuropathy. This condition is characterized by the emergence of painful pins-and-needles or numbness in the limbs as well as incontinence, erectile dysfunction, constipation, and muscle weakness among other things.

As for the brain, alcohol can interfere with the brain’s communication pathways, thereby changing how the organ looks and works. It also causes brain atrophy, lack of response to emotional or environmental stimuli, depression, fatigue, and ataxia (difficulty keeping one’s balance).

6 Rules You Should Never Break When Dealing With An Addicted Loved One

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Dealing with addiction is difficult especially if the person who is an addict is someone close to you. Often, the family and friends of the person with a substance or alcohol abuse problem find themselves torn between giving in to their loved one’s requests and

“tough love” that experts consider more beneficial for the patient.

According to addiction rehabilitation specialist Dr. Maher Soudah, going against instinctive love is often the best course of action for an addict’s loved ones. This is because the substance or alcohol changes a person to the point of becoming unrecognizable to his peers. At this point, it is also unsurprising if the individual takes advantage of his loved ones only to feed his addiction.

Taking this into consideration, Dr. Soudah and his expert team at the Kaiser Wellness Center listed down six important rules that the family and friends of an addict should never break if they wish to help their loved one recover from his condition.

Rule #1: Don’t Be Naive

Being naive means easily trusting in a person’s words and promises. Most of the time, addicted individuals use this on their loved ones to get what they want because of the affection other people have for them.

Dr. Soudah explained that this is one of the most common reasons why addiction is not cured as easily as many hoped. Because of this, the specialist deemed it necessary to remove naivety entirely to successfully rehabilitate the addicted person.

Rule #2: Be Observant With Actions, Not Words

“Action speaks louder than words” is probably the best phrase to remember when dealing with addiction. Even before confirming that your loved one is an addict, it is important to be observant about what he does and not what he says, as addicts often say things they need to say to get what they want.

On top of that, experts like Dr. Maher Soudah, the director of Kaiser Wellness Center, also explained that looking for actions can actually help the family and friends of the person to determine the root of his problem as the addiction is oftentimes a result of a deeper dilemma.

Rule #3: Don’t Yield During Confrontations

Confrontations are common when dealing with addiction. Sometimes, it can be difficult for someone to get into a verbal argument and even a physical altercation with the person they love because of his addiction problem.

While it may be counter-intuitive, staying strong and not giving in during confrontations would be beneficial for their rehabilitation from alcohol or substance abuse. It is also important to never yield and just agree with them whenever they deny being addicted, especially if the signs strongly suggest that they are.

Rule #4: Keep An Open Communication

Dealing with addiction can be too much for family and friends of an addict but it is important that they keep communication lines open. As Dr. Soudah explained, dismissing a friend or family member with an addiction problem might cause them to go further down a spiral. They might blame their addiction on situations and even other people, but it is important for relatives and peers to continue digging until the real reason for his addiction is unearthed.

Experts at the Kaiser Wellness Center led by Dr. Maher Soudah highly recommend asking specific and open-ended questions to help the patient be able to fully explain the situation.

Rule #5: Be Supportive But Don’t ‘Enable’

No matter what case it might be, it is important that loved ones should stay supportive. However, the family and friends of an addict should be able to determine the difference between a “supporter” and an “enabler.”

Based on expert advice from the Kaiser Wellness Center, being supportive means doing what is necessary for the recovery of the patient while “enabling” simply allows them to become more exposed to the substance they are addicted to.

Rule #6: Keep A Close Eye On Money

In relation to Rule No. five, make sure to keep an eye on money trails if you are someone who offers financial support for your addicted loved one. Do not give them money for anything that isn’t important for their survival, else you’re “enabling” his addiction. Also, make sure to secure all your cash and anything else that can be converted into it (jewelry, real estate properties, etc.) so that the person with abuse problem won’t have any means to finance his addiction.

Dr. Maher Soudah: 5 Survival Tips For Someone Caring For An Addict

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Love knows no boundaries, but it is important to understand how to love people with special circumstances. People who are in an intimate relationship with a person suffering from substance or alcohol abuse also need a special kind of advice for them to “survive” the situation and help their significant other get through his situation harmoniously.

Fortunately, experts like Dr. Maher Soudah and his team of addiction rehabilitation specialists at the Kaiser Wellness Center, are here to help with five important tips that can make taking care of an addict easier.

Face The Truth

In any kind of situation, the first step towards healing is to accept reality and face the truth. From an outsider’s point of view, this appears to be easy. However, a person who finds himself in the actual situation would admit that it is easier said than done, especially with someone you care about. After all, the saying declares that if you love someone, you mustn’t try to change them.

After finding out that your significant other is an addict, the initial reaction is denial. However, it is important that you accept the one you love wholly, flaws and all. Even so, addiction is not something that should not be changed as overcoming it would be beneficial for both parties in the relationship so make sure your partner knows that you accept them and are ready to help them recover.

Ditch The Blame Game

Because of the changes you might witness in your relationship with an addicted person, it is hard not to initiate the “blame game.” In fact, even if you don’t start it, your partner would tend to do so without him knowing it as it is considered as one of the effects of addiction.

Those who suffer from alcohol or drug abuse tend to find someone else to blame other than themselves, and the first target would be the person closest to them. Think about this and make sure to understand that the person you love is changing because of the substance they found themselves hooked to. Believe that they had a bad thing going but they are not a bad person. This way, it would be easier to survive countless arguments and “survive” loving an addict.

Differentiate “Helping” From “Enabling”

When talking about addiction, the words “helping” and “enabling” have different meanings. Helping an addict means that you want to aid them in overcoming their situation, while enabling it would mean providing means for the person to continue doing his thing.

If the addict’s partner is unaware of this difference, they might get taken advantage of by the other person, as alcohol and drug tend to alter an individual’s way of thinking in a way that would sometimes negatively affect those around him. Make sure not to enable your loved one if you really care about them by cutting off financial support when necessary.

Avoid Co-dependency

Co-dependency is common among those who are closest to people with substance abuse problems since they tend to want to “help” the person. It is often characterized by a feeling of responsibility for the addict’s situation, inability to set boundaries, and a tendency to put their feelings over your own.

Avoiding this situation can be difficult but it is worth as it would allow you to stay healthy amid your relationship with an addict. It would also prevent you from “enabling” your loved ones addiction.

Don’t Be Naive

A loved ones naivety is considered a problem in the rehabilitation of an addict as it tends to affect the persons recovery through an “enabling” attitude. An addict’s behavior toward other people tend to change significantly and their loved ones are no exception. Removing naivety would effectively lessen possibilities that the addict would relapse or fall deeper into his substance abuse so make sure to avoid being too trusting.

Is Alcoholism Curable? 5 Ways To Help An Alcoholic Return To A Normal Life

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Alcoholism is a problem many of us are familiar with— even a bit too familiar, for some people. Whether it’s a friend or a family member, it can be quite a heartbreaking scene to witness the people we love waste their lives away because of alcohol abuse.

From dangerous driving under the influence and other encounters with law enforcers to more severe consequences like accidents and even suicide, people who suffer from alcohol use disorder shouldn’t handle the problem alone. Rehabilitation offered by experts like Dr. Maher Soudah and his team at Kaiser Wellness Center are readily available to help the patient recover from his or her excessive drinking.

Despite this, it is important to understand that the right approach by the patient’s friends, relatives, and loved ones would play a critical role in his or her rehabilitation from alcohol abuse. Here are five ways you can help the alcoholic in your life to return to a normal lifestyle.

Have A Deep Understanding Of Alcoholism

A person who doesn’t have a good understanding of the situation cannot possibly help an alcoholic return to normal life. In fact, Dr. Maher Soudah emphasizes the need for the patient’s family and friends to have a good grasp of the situation.

One major thing that most people do not understand is that there is a huge difference between a person who likes drinking and an alcoholic. The former can be considered a casual drinker while the latter won’t be able to resist finishing the bottle laid down in front of him or her.

There are also signs that you should watch out for if you suspect that a family member or friend has an alcohol abuse problem, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Aggression
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Blackouts
  • Dependence on alcohol signaled by withdrawal symptoms
  • Cravings
  • Extremely high alcohol tolerance
  • Loss of coordination
  • Self-destructive behavior

Accept That You Cannot Save An Alcoholic

While it may sound a bit counterintuitive, one of the most important ways to help an alcoholic return to his or her life before becoming acquainted with alcohol is to come to terms with the fact that you cannot save them. This is because alcoholism is not a rational condition; this makes it a lot more difficult to cure.

According to Dr. Maher Soudah, cutting off an alcoholic from assistance would be better for the patient than giving him or her an easy way out. Among the most common scenarios are encounters with law enforcement. Bailing an alcoholic out of jail for drunk driving would only give less time to think about the repercussions of alcohol addiction. Thus, it would be harder for him or her to recover from the condition.

Do Not Give In To Your Love For An Alcoholic

After understanding that you cannot save them, you should keep in mind that alcoholics would feel less need to refrain from drinking if there are people “enabling” their addiction. Most of the time, alcoholics use your love for them to their advantage. Never give them money for any situation other than life-threatening ones, so they can immerse more in the consequences of alcohol addiction.

Learn How To Talk To An Alcoholic

While you should stop the kind of support that is “enabling” the alcoholic to drink more, let him or her know what you feel about the excessive drinking. Dr. Soudah explains that family and friends of a patient must talk in the most authentic way possible.

Talk to him or her in a quiet place privately and make sure that he or she understands that you support the recovery in a way that won’t make the person feel like you are forcing rehab. Also, be prepared for a negative reaction. An alcoholic would often go through the denial phase when confronted by a loved one.

Offer To Accompany An Alcohol To AA Meetings

Nothing can prove how serious you are at helping an alcoholic return to his or her normal life than offering to accompany the person to Alcoholics Anonymous and other similar meetings. This would make your loved one feel less alone and would be more motivated to recover from alcohol abuse.

 

How To Plan An Intervention For An Alcohol Or Drug Addicted Loved One

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Seeing someone you love go into a downward spiral because of alcohol or drug abuse is probably one of the most painful scenes any family member or friend can witness. The trap that has been set by the effects of alcohol and drugs is something that an addict cannot escape from alone. This is why it is imperative for family and friends to stage an intervention.

Staging an intervention can be tricky especially if the people planning it have no idea how to deal with an addiction problem. Fortunately, experts like addiction rehabilitation specialist Dr. Maher Soudah and his team at the Kaiser Wellness Center are always ready to help an addict’s loved ones in coming up with the best intervention strategies as the patient’s first step towards recovery.

Choose An Intervention Model

The first step in intervening with an alcohol and drug addict is deciding on a course of action. Dr. Soudah, who serves as the director of Kaiser Wellness Center, studied many types of intervention models that present different approaches but with one goal: to convince the addict to undergo rehabilitation.

Direct intervention models, such as the Johnson model, is the most common option chosen by an addict’s family and friends because it leans more on the traditional and confrontational approach. It entails active participation of the patient’s primary caregiver— a parent or spouse— and later ropes in a team from the person’s social network.

Meanwhile, alternative models like the ARISE method focuses on the person struggling with drug and alcohol abuse from the start. It also requires active participation from the patient’s primary caregiver, as well as important people from his or her social network. However, the big difference between this method and the traditional model is the collaboration between the caregiver, the addict, and the support network.

The confrontational method, which served as the “parent model” for the Johnson model, is the oldest form of intervention. While the Johnson model avoids putting the blame on the individual with addiction problems, the confrontational method directly challenges the unpleasant behaviors of the individual. It also emphasizes the expectation of recovery from the addict and uses indirect force to achieve its goal, Dr. Maher Soudah explains.

Experts have also come up with a more compassionate model known as the Love First approach. As the name states, this form of intervention focuses on making the individual realize that he or she isn’t short of sympathy and love from the people around, particularly from family. Consulting with addiction rehabilitation experts like Dr. Soudah and the rest of the Kaiser Wellness Center would also be beneficial in choosing the right kind of intervention model for the addict in your life.

How To Intervene

Whichever model of intervention you choose, always consider every aspect of the situation and understand that every individual is different. You should also gather enough information and people who can form the intervention team. The addict’s friends are perfect for this role, in addition to his family and significant other. Make sure that the people you choose have no conflict with each other to avoid discord. Disagreements within the intervention team would effectively derail the addict’s recovery.

After assembling a team, have every member write down ways the addiction has affected them. While it is good to be honest, the team should understand that it is best to be assertive but not aggressive in their letter. They should focus on the person who needs the intervention but refrain from sounding judgmental in the process. Love, care, and sympathy should be at the core of each letter.

It is also beneficial to list down consequences of not seeking treatment for the individual. Doing this would remove any enabling behavior among the core members of the intervention team and would also make the patient understand the importance of recovery to them.

After preparing everything, convene all members of the team, as well as the person addicted to alcohol or drugs. During this meeting, present the letters and notes to the person and explain to him or her that the purpose of the set up was to help the person return to normal life.

5 Ways To Get A Family Member To Stop Drinking

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Seeing a family member go astray because of alcohol can be quite difficult to handle, especially if you are not accustomed to dealing with such sensitive situations. Understanding the difference between a “drinking problem” and “alcoholism” is a task that requires both patience and sympathy for the person involved because it would usually cause a rift between family members if approached the wrong way.

Seeking help from specialists like Dr. Maher Soudah of the Kaiser Wellness Center would also be a good thing to consider. This is especially true when the person you love cannot seem to get over the “drinking problem” simply because he or she is already an alcoholic. As an expert on addiction rehabilitation, Dr. Soudah and his team strongly advise having the individual undergo rehabilitation. However, they also understand how difficult it is to make a person addicted to alcohol do this because of the dependency to the substance.

Here are five ways you can help your family help a loved one get over alcohol dependence.

Speak To About The “Drinking Proble

An alcoholic would often deny the presence of a “drinking problem” from the very start, so confronting him or her about it would most likely result in a negative reaction. Even so, this shouldn’t discourage you from trying for your loved one’s sake.

Like any other dilemma, communication is better when done with utmost care and understanding of the receiver of your message to yield favorable results. When it comes to alcoholics, it is best to communicate in a way that is non-accusative. You should also refrain from sounding judgmental because it would only put the person on the defensive.

Understand The Root Of Alcohol Addiction

After expressing your concern about your loved one’s addiction, you should also consider digging deeper to figure out the root of the dependency. According to Dr. Maher Soudah, the alcohol itself isn’t usually the problem because people tend to drink during certain events in their lives. People tend to use the substance as an escape from their dilemma instead of finding a true solution. Unfortunately, this gets them into an even bigger problem in the form of alcohol dependency.

Knowing what caused the person to rely on alcohol is a great help in convincing him or her to turn things around. Loved ones would at least know where he or she is coming from. It would also make the person feel understood and less alienated.

Stage An Intervention

If the family you plan on helping has denial issues and is having a difficult time opening up, addiction rehabilitation specialist Dr. Soudah suggests staging an intervention. Form a team composed of people who care about the alcoholic and make them list down ways the addiction has affected them.

This way, the person would understand that he or she is not the only victim of the circumstances and would eventually decide to sign up for rehabilitation. When this happens, make sure to choose medical facilities that promote a safe and effective treatment like the Kaiser Wellness Center.

Seek Help From An “Authority” In His Life

Often, convincing an alcoholic to undergo rehabilitation is very challenging. If the person still refuses to sign up for treatment despite intervention attempts, Dr. Soudah advises the alcoholic’s family to seek the help of someone he looks up to, or a person of “authority.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that the person should hold a post-graduate degree or a position in the government. He just needs to have enough influence over the individual to convince him or her to undergo rehab.

Avoid Co-Dependency

Convincing a loved one to get rehabilitated can be aggravating. We tend to have the matter affect us in a way that we become obsessed with his or her actions and care less about our own lives. This condition, dubbed “co-dependency,” should be avoided for your emotional and mental well-being, says Dr. Soudah. Remember that the alcoholic is the only one who can decide if he or she would go to rehab and your only role is to present options and be supportive.

 

Choosing The Right Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program For Your Loved One

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In the process of guiding a loved one through a seemingly hopeless  case of alcohol abuse, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. As someone  who cares for someone with this kind of addiction, you simply want the  best. With the numerous choices available, how do you go about in  choosing the right program and facility? How sure are you that the  one you choose is the most effective?

According to Dr. Maher Soudah, director of Kaiser Wellness Center,  the first step is to understand what your options are. Only then can you make a personal and informed decision in finding the right treatment program.

 

What You Should Look for When Choosing a Rehabilitation Facility

Case Worker/Patient Care Coordinator

Alcohol rehabilitation facilities need to have a case worker or care coordinator for each patient. This is one of the things that you need to find out first. The caseworker should be able to answer questions regarding insurance and discharge issues. This will ensure that your loved one still gets aftercare services even after being discharged from the rehab center.

Available Therapy Treatments

There are cases where a rehabilitation facility may need more therapy than a nursing home. Typically, each patient should receive about three hours of therapy on a daily basis. This doesn’t have to be continuous — it can be spread out at different times on the same day.

Through progressive therapy, the patient will be more confident and stronger. Therapy for alcoholism could be different from patient to patient, but this most likely depends on the specialist or therapist assigned to him or her.

Nurse to Patient Ratio

Rehabilitation facilities are often swarmed with caregivers, but not all them are qualified rehabilitation nurses. Not all nurses specialize in rehabilitation care, so be wary of facilities that heavily employ Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).

Ideally, there should be one nurse for every five patients during the day. Find out if your chosen facility has enough staff, so the quality of care isn’t compromised.

Qualified Medical Staff

Dr. Maher Soudah says that a rehab facility should have board-certified medical staff available around the clock. They should be available all the time and are situated within the facility 24/7. Make sure your chosen facility has a physician trained in rehab care, specifically an internist specializing in critical care.

Cleanliness and Orderliness

For rehabilitation to be effective, it is important that patients are at their utmost comfort from the looks of the facility alone. The moment you walk in, assess whether it looks clean and smells good, void of any unpleasant odor. Apart from appearing functional and appealing, the facility should have complete amenities in its patient rooms. Check if the area is accessible both indoors and outdoors, and if has an area that patients can use when they need to step outside within the confines of the facility.

Accreditation

In the United States, a rehab center must be certified by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO). JCAHO regularly monitors accredited rehab facilities and conduct evaluations once in every three years.

Intensive Outpatient Program

In cases where a loved one isn’t comfortable staying at a rehabilitation facility, try asking if your prospect rehab center has an outpatient program. This program allows the patient to stay at home with family but is still able to receive intensive care. Some

people may find this challenging, but this is a better option for some patients who would want to be around family and friends most

of the time to help them cope. It is a big step to admit that alcohol has taken over the life of your loved one. “Recognition can often

encourage people to continue treatment,” Dr. Soudah notes. This means that it’s important for a person with alcoholism to feel

understood and supported. Family therapy sessions and education programs are available to assist with those feelings.

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