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How can I help my brother get rid of his alcohol addiction?

Thursday, 06 April 2006
Answered by: Arpita Anand
Consultant Psychologist,
Max Healthcare,
New Delhi
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Q. My brother has acute alcohol addiction problem for the past several years. He goes on a binge mode for 20 days until his body can't take it anymore. Sometimes he needs to be hospitalised for the same. But the cycle continues after recovery. Currently is on a 45 day course treatment in a rehabilitation centre. The treatment includes physical, psychological, yoga etc. His addiction was exacerbated by his ex-wife's death, 2 years ago. Besides the lack of understanding from his family members also provoked him easily. He was separated from his wife 4 years ago. He is disturbed deep down and feels guilty for what happened. He also feels scared and hallucinates, which force him to drink. He cares for his 12-year-old daughter, but he doesn't show any responsibility towards her upbringing. He is coming off the rehabilitation and my biggest concern is what if he goes back to the same environment. Do I need to take him to a psychiatrist?

A.  Alcohol addiction, as you may already, know is a disease. There are many components to treatment that include attending to physical and psychological needs. If your brother is currently in rehabilitation, we can hope that this will address some of his needs. It is important though that he continue with treatment after that. Rates of relapse are very high in person where underlying psychological factors are not effectively resolved. For this he must continue with counselling with a psychologist. Additionally, support from the family is crucial in the recovery of such persons. So in other words continued professional help, along with family support should help him significantly.

A.  Alcohol addiction, as you may already, know is a disease. There are many components to treatment that include attending to physical and psychological needs. If your brother is currently in rehabilitation, we can hope that this will address some of his needs. It is important though that he continue with treatment after that. Rates of relapse are very high in person where underlying psychological factors are not effectively resolved. For this he must continue with counselling with a psychologist. Additionally, support from the family is crucial in the recovery of such persons. So in other words continued professional help, along with family support should help him significantly.

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