How to Help a Violent Alcoholic
Violence is a poor solution to problems, and this is especially true for violent alcoholics. Unfortunately, a large number of alcoholics do become violent, which makes approaching them about rehab treatment tricky. Whether you’re the spouse of an alcoholic or a child, you need to try to get your loved one to a treatment center to protect your family.
The first step in dealing with a violent alcoholic is to have an escape plan. Ensure you have somewhere else to go if your loved one turns violent. This will require a certain amount of strength on your part, but you must consider what the alternative could be if you don’t protect yourself.
You should also remove weapons and ammunition from the house to ensure it is a weapon-free zone. Unload any guns and make sure knives and other implements are not available. This may take a little while, so do it when your loved one is not in the house.
The best way to help a violent alcoholic is to ensure that you’re not enabling alcoholic behavior. If your loved one uses your money to get drunk, cut off these funds as much as possible. You can set up a separate savings account that your loved one doesn’t know about to reduce the amount of money available. You can also cancel cards if your loved one is racking up debt with drinking habits. Above all, to get rid of the dangers and effects of alcohol use, it is best to choose the right rehab center.
In addition, you might not keep alcohol in the house or buy alcohol for a loved one. If he or she becomes violent as a result of this, you need to leave quickly. Find a friend, family member, or shelter to take you in, and stay away from your home until your loved one calms down.
By reducing the opportunities for the person to get drunk, you increase the likelihood of being able to talk to him or her about drinking and violence issues. Coming up with a detailed plan will increase your chances of successfully addressing the issues. Have someone else in the house if possible—preferably someone who can help you escape if necessary. Explain to your loved one how his or her drinking affects your life and everyone around you, and prepare examples or stories if possible.
In some cases, a full-on intervention might be the best way to go. With dozens of people present, you can talk about your feelings while reinforced by those around you. A professional interventionist can structure the intervention to help increase the chances of its success.
If you are talking to your partner alone, you need to plan options in case your partner does agree to get help. Research available clinics and options available for alcoholics in your area. You should also try to understand the different types of drug alcohol or rehab programs and the various stages of each program.
If you plan an appointment for your loved one, this may further cement the chances that he or she will follow through with the plan for treatment. Even if it’s just a preliminary appointment to discuss various options, the important thing is that you convince your partner that this small step will be the first step on the road to recovery.
With that said, you need to be prepared to apply sanctions if your loved one doesn’t seek help. If you’re reading this, you might be asking how you can persuade your partner to change if you don’t have anything to withdraw.
However, you can withdraw your company or, in certain cases, your children’s or grandchildren’s company if your partner does not comply. You must be prepared to carry through, however.
“Tough love” is a common phrase, and though it is a bit cliché, that is what must happen if your loved one is to get help. Most alcoholics will deny that they have issues with alcohol until they’re diagnosed with alcohol-induced liver failure or something similar. Alternatively, they might be caught driving under the influence of alcohol. Those caught multiple times face the risk of jail time.
Ultimately, you cannot be with someone who abuses you or those around you. If your loved one is mired in alcoholism, you need to be strong and firm. A sober partner or family member is the ultimate goal, and it is achievable with help.
Approaching the situation needs to be handled appropriately, though, and your safety and the safety of your dependents should always be the first thing you consider. If you or your loved one has an issue with alcohol, call our hotline at to learn more about your options for best rehabs and what can be treated that can make your life better and addiction free.