My Brother is an Alcoholic but Will Not Admit it. What can I do?
by Deborah Harris
My brother went through rehab and then was put in a half-way house. Because he started drinking again he was asked to leave the half-way house. His wife has a restraining order against him now. He has been arrested twice because of violating the order.
He is showing signs of dementia and I really don't think he "understands" why there is the order against him. He says he doesn't have a problem and that his wife has convinced everyone that he does. The family had an intervention, he agreed to go to rehab etc. but the minute he was released he started drinking again.
He has always suffered from depression - now, of course, it is worse. How do I help a person who does not think he needs help. It is heart breaking to watch my brother destroy his life and those of his family also.
To help a person who does not think they need help is very difficult. In a case like your brother with severe alcoholism and where he is clearly losing touch with reality - you should try and get him into a long-term rehab program
- ideally 90 days and longer, not the usual 30 day programs.
Because a month long program is for many just not long enough to make the changes they need to make. There are still no guarantees, but clearly he still needs professional help, so the best thing is to get him into a safe environment away from every day reality for an extended period. That way hopefully he has a more of a chance to realise what he is doing and will then become receptive to making the changes he needs to.
But at the end of the day it all boils down to your brother taking responsibility for his alcoholism and doing what is necessary for overcoming it. Some just don't get it initially and don't realise that relapse prevention
and successful recovery from alcoholism requires a lot more than just a stint in rehab. So it takes a couple of failed attempts before the 'light goes on' and they realise what they need to do.
Apart from getting your brother into a long-term treatment program, there isn't a lot you can do, because if he doesn't ultimately want to change, no one can force him to. You can only hope though that a longer stint in professional care will get him to break through his denial and realise what he's actually doing. Because only at that point is he really ready to start doing something about his alcoholism.
Best of Luck and Take Care.