Hi and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your question...
I understand that it can be very distressing to deal with a family member who is addicted to alcohol and who refuses to take any steps to change himself. It is also very difficult to stop any habit or addiction without the motivation and co-operation of the person. Also, most people who abuse alcohol or any other substance have already been told enough number of times by their relatives and friends to stop or cut down the habit. But remember, the very definition of 'addiction' implies that the person has lost control over the substance and is unable to stop or control its use, despite knowing that it can cause him / her harmful consequences.
Now, at the same time, this does not mean that there is no way out. There are a lot of people who have sought help and have been able to quit / control alcohol. One of the key factors in success is to get the person motivated. Merely telling the person repeatedly to stop usually does little good.
I would suggest that the most practical way is to get him to see a doctor whenever you find an opportunity. He may not be willing to see a doctor for his drinking problem, but may be willing to get help for a physical or medical problem, for example stomach pain, vomiting
, poor appetite
, etc. Once you get him to see the doctor, then that can be used as an opportunity by the doctor to discuss his drinking problem and motivate him to see a psychiatrist
for further help.
Once the psychiatrist establishes a good rapport with him, he can gradually win his confidence. In a skilled and professional manner, he is made to understand his situation and realize that it is time for change. His motivation is gradually enhanced and he is taught skills how to prevent relapses and how to adjust / modify his lifestyle accordingly. This process is called Motivational Enhancement and if done professionally by a therapist, can give good and lasting results.
In addition, there are medication which can help - medication which can ease the withdrawal symptoms
when he stops alcohol, medication for his psychiatric symptoms such as suspiciousness and medication which can even help reduce the 'craving' i.e. the urge or desire to keep taking the substance.
All the best.
- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar