How To Get An Alcoholic Spouse Into Treatment

road to rehabThe very first thing to note is that the alcoholic spouse needs to be ready to go into treatment or else we are wasting our time trying to force them to go. How we get them to the place of being ready to go into treatment can be a complicated process. The main things we must learn are how to stop being an enabler and how to stop rescuing the substance abuser.

Once we learn how to let go of an alcohol abuser in our lives and allow them to suffer the consequences of their poor choices, then there’s a chance they will hit bottom and ask for help. There are a few good ideas in this article about how to have tough love with an alcoholic.

In any case, we should always be prepared for when the day will come when our spouse says, “I want to go into a rehabilitation program. This is vitally important! The reason being is that when a problem drinker hits bottom you have to be ready to move fast. There are some things that can be researched ahead of time in order to make the admission into a treatment facility go smoother.

Know Your Insurance Policy

spouse going to rehabThis is critical to the success of admitting an alcoholic quickly into a rehab. You want to know in advance what treatment places accept your insurance and what your options will be for treating the alcoholic. You will also be able to get an idea of what your financial obligations will be.

Know Where The Free Rehab Centers Are In Your Area

I live in South Florida. In our city we have several drug and alcohol rehab places where an alcoholic spouse can get help without any financial obligations to satisfy in order for them to be admitted. Two of the treatment centers have work programs that the alcoholics are required to participate in once they have remained clean and sober for an extended period of time. Once working, a percentage of the substance abusers paycheck is required by the treatment center in order for them to continue in the program.

The first place I always recommend checking is the Salvation Army. I have had several friends who have successfully stayed sober for many years after they went through the Salvation Army’s treatment center for alcoholism.

I wouldn’t hesitate to research treatment centers through having personal sit down interviews, if possible, with the administrations you are interested in knowing more about.

Moving With Urgency

You’ve got to be ready move when it’s time to get an alcoholic spouse into treatment. It just takes too much time to try and pull it all together quickly when you are not prepared.

I remember when one of my peers came to me the day they hit bottom and wanted to go into a treatment center. They were ready to be admitted that very moment. I mean, like right this very instant and they were dead serious about their decision.

It actually took us a week to make the arrangements to get her into a detox center while she was being approved for a twenty eight day rehabilitation program. I was so scared that she was going to change her mind in those days of waiting. There was no indication that she was nearing the place of hitting her bottom. Her decision took us all by surprise.

It wasn’t until she was released from treatment that she became brutally honest with me and told me what it was like when she hit bottom. She had reached a point where she was so sick of all the deceitful things that she was doing like, manipulating, stealing and lying all of the time. She told me that she had been living with a constant state of fear that she was going to get caught stealing controlled substances from her place of employment.

Her addictions had taken her to the pits of being someone who she never had intended to become, a manipulative lying thief.

I’ve said this often, we never know when the alcoholic is going to hit bottom and cry out for help. As friends, spouses and family members, it’s our responsibility to be ready to move quickly in an attempt to help the alcoholic when they say they are ready to go into treatment for their alcoholism.

You might also enjoy:

How To Get My Spouse To Quit Drinking
Abusive Alcoholic Spouse
Husband’s Alcoholism Is Getting Worse

3 comments to How To Get An Alcoholic Spouse Into Treatment

  • Laura

    it is so surprising how we all have the ability to try and be there and they just seem to want to make there life hell and ours too. I could never in a million years come up with the stuff that he does and he is with it enough to hurt me and that is starting to seem like another addiction of his. I wonder if this goes hand in hand or if they just hate the fact that we stay and watch them destroy everthing. Mine says sometimes he tries to push me away so that I will just leave and then he can fail on his own. I think it is because then he could do what he wants with not guilt. I have tried this week to be alone and do my thing and now he was furious and said why are you even here. Gee good question, maybe because you are dying?? I spend some time on me and then he is mad at me. It’s not always all about you. We had hospice up yesterday and started the program I think that was and eye opener. He was drinking through the whole two appointment going in and out of the house. The lady gave him medicine for pain and I told he was drinking and they said at this point it does not matter. The Dr.s just want him comfortable and they are no longer worried about the liver damage.
    He has been more pleasant on the medicine I will say, but it is another reality check that it is going down hill. I just lost myself yesterday and laid in bed the rest of it and ate food. I was really depressed and sad. Today I am trying to use my prayer and friends to keep me grounded. I have no one in his family to be there with us. It is a lot on one person to take.
    Keep staying strong and working on be the best us we can be. Love L

  • JM

    Please stay strong, you have done amazingly well. Look after yourself first.

    I understand the difficulty and darkness that you are going through. I have been there and still going through my darkness.

    When I am disturbed, I practise meditation – breathing exercise, close eyes, imagine flying through the forest… I helps me.

    I also remember the serenity prayer which gives me comfort:
    God (of your own understanding) grant me the serenity, accept the things that I can’t change, courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.

    I’ve also found detaching is helpful. Just focus on yourself first. We are not responsible for someone else’s drinking behaviour which is killing himself.

    Take care.

  • mace


    First my deepest empathy to you right now. Hang in there and remain strong.

    This is the total epitome of hitting “rock bottom.” And even at this stage he still wants a drink. Sad, indeed.

    Detaching will be difficult, but as he faces his final days, know that this was his choice. My mother went through similar problems with my Dad, but at his death, I saw relief in her. Sure, she got lonely, but I think after nearly 50 years of this, she could breathe and truly live.

    Keep praying. That helps so much. That serenity prayer that says to accept the “things I cannot change” will come in handy right now. When I can’t think of how to pray, or when it gets really difficult for me with my present “A” I will google a prayer helps.

    Be blessed..

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