Getting Help for Alcoholism/Addiction
Several steps must be carried out to initiate an optimum treatment plan:
- Involve the family—spouse, parents, children—to discuss the evidence supporting the diagnosis of alcoholism.
- Suggest a treatment regimen. Be knowledgeable about the various treatment programs offered in the community. Be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these programs. In-patient treatment for detoxification should be encouraged.
- Endorse Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous and family support groups. Have access to AA and Al-Anon members' phone numbers to contact these organizations.
- Discuss intervention techniques.
- Emphasize the need for quick action.
- Assure family of continued support.
Alcoholism is a family disease; all members of a family in which there is an alcoholic/addict are affected by the alcoholism.
Families of alcoholics experience feelings of guilt, shame, and isolation. Many require support and counseling to resolve these feelings. Families of the alcoholic with disabilities may find these feelings greatly intensified.
The Need for a Case Manager
Many helping professionals are involved in the lives of both the disabled and his/her family members. These include but are not limited to medical care providers: physicians, specialists, nurses, psychiatrists or psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation counselors. Beyond these professionals, there is a real need for a case manager.
A case manager will provide the interface and communication among the many resources who play a role in the recuperation from injury, as well as the recovery from alcoholism/addiction. The case manager must be trained to recognize chemical dependency and the necessity to deal with it as a primary illness.