We all tend to carry around this standard picture in our minds of what an alcoholic looks and acts like. We assume their lives are in total disarray, and their health is hanging in the balance. Truthfully, that’s a fair assessment regarding a lot of people who are dealing with severe alcohol addiction. Interestingly, there is another breed of alcoholic. They drink and act like an alcoholic, but they have this innate ability to function at a very high level. The following advice addresses how to talk to a high functioning alcoholic.
How to Talk to a High Functioning Alcoholic
When it comes to talking an addicted person into getting treatment, a high functioning alcoholic is a tough nut to crack. Their ability to successfully handle some aspects of their life masks the extent of the problem. It’s this deep-rooted denial that creates the barrier to talking them into treatment. As far as how to talk to a high functioning alcoholic, there’s certain do’s and don’ts. As far as the don’ts, the last thing a loved one wants to do is make accusations. Accusations have little chance of penetrating the veil of denial but can provoke anger. The other thing to also avoid is trying to tell the person how to live. That’s another non-starter. The dos are quite simple. High functioning alcoholics are most vulnerable when hungover and feeling guilty. That’s the perfect time to approach. Upon approaching, the emphasis of the conversation should revolve around how the addiction is hurting family and friends. It’s this appeal to empathy that stands the best chance of success.
What to Say About Treatment
A light discussion about the addiction treatment process might well be the best way to motivate someone to get treatment. The discussion should center around how a medically-monitored detox program will keep them comfortable during detox. The conversation could then shift towards discussing therapy. Any discussion about therapy should center on modern treatment methods. An in-depth discussion about the success of evidence-based therapies and fun holistic programs could inspire someone to seek treatment. Therefore, if the high functioning alcoholic likes talking about themselves, a mention they will get that opportunity can’t hurt. Of course, at the end of the day, the ability to make the treatment process seem non-threatening is the best approach.
About The Ranch PA
In our role as a residential alcohol treatment center in Hanover, PA, we have obligations to our clients. What we owe them is the best level of care possible. Because we take that responsibility seriously, we offer a wide range of cutting edge treatment options. To better explain what a client can expect by way of treatment, here’s a shortlist of our services:
- In-house medical detox programs
- Residential and outpatient addiction treatment programs
- Pain management program
- Individual & Family Therapy
- Motivational Interviewing
- Psychodrama therapy
- 12 Step and Non 12 Step options
We hope this clarifies how to talk to a high functioning alcoholic. With the right approach, there’s a realistic chance you can get your loved one to consider treatment. If successful, The Ranch PA is available to help them. You can give us a heads up by picking up the phone and calling us at 717.969.9126.