If you are struggling with alcoholism then you should go to an alcoholic rehab. Doing so can be the single best decision of your life.
Rehab is not cheap. And, it is getting more and more expensive as time goes on. However, the cost of not treating alcoholism is ridiculously high. It is much higher than the cost of treatment. In fact, if you continue to drink abusively, then you are probably going to lose over a hundred thousand dollars for every couple of years that you drink. This goes far beyond the money you spend on the actual alcohol, obviously, and includes factors such as lost work, health care costs, damage to your long term health, and so on. The cost of continuing to drink is too high. Whatever amount you spend on rehab–if it actually works for you and keeps you sober–then it was worth it.
Of course the cost of alcohol rehab is not the only factor involved, as many people have insurance or can easily afford it but are simply too scared to go to treatment. They will of course not put it in these terms, and instead this fear will come out in the form of denial. Instead of saying “I am too scared to quit drinking and go to rehab and face reality,” they will more likely say “I can control my drinking when I really want too and therefore do not need rehab.” Do you see how this denial works? It is fear based. They are playing defense so automatically that they probably do not even realize it. Such is the nature of denial.
So how can you get past this wall of resistance and convince someone to go to rehab? How can you convince the alcoholic that they need to get help? In most cases the best you can do is to modify your own behavior so that you are no longer enabling the person. This means that you no longer support their drinking or any part of their life that they should be handling for themselves. Remove your support and let them fall on their face. Let them suffer the natural consequences of their drinking. Do not bail them out of trouble that is caused by alcoholic behavior. Let them reap what they sow. It is only through pain that the alcoholic will decide to change.
Think about the fear that keeps someone from going to rehab. They are scared to go, afraid to change their life. How can they get past that fear? It is only in crushing defeat that they will be able to walk through that fear and go to rehab. It is only when they are broken down fully that they can ignore this fear and give rehab a chance. If things are going pretty well for the alcoholic, then they are still clinging to their fear and they will not be able to change. It is only when they have hit bottom that they have the opportunity to abandon their fear and do something about their problem.
Therefore, do not enable the alcoholic to continue to drink, do not help them to overcome their problems that they are causing themselves due to drinking. If you want to see them go to rehab then they have to experience enough pain so that they become willing to break down and go. Your actions do make a difference but probably not in a very direct way. No, you cannot drag them by the ear into detox and make them stay sober forever. But you can position yourself in such a way that you are no longer helping them to abuse their body, and the only help you will offer them in the future is to take them to professional help or an AA meeting….