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Receiving Treatment Under the Influence

answered 07:53 AM EST, Sat March 30, 2013
anonymous anonymous
Does an intensive outpatient program make any sense for a person that can’t or won’t stop drinking? My uncle detoxed2 weeks ago and then his insurance company said he could only get outpatient treatment even though he clearly needs to go away because he is in really bad shape. So now he is just drunk all the time and going to these afternoon meetings completely wasted. I am not sure he isn’t happy with the deal because he gets to continue drinking while he ‘works’ on his problems.

Jim LaPierre Says...

The short answer to your question is that no form of treatment outside of medical/detox makes sense for a person who is currently under the influence. If your uncle is sober while receiving treatment (not under influence of alcohol during the 3 hours he's at his treatment program) then there may be a small benefit but it's unlikely to change his behavior. Sending folks off to long term rehabs is something insurance companies try very hard not to do (because they're evil and rehab is expensive). Unfortunately, even with a long term rehab, the difficulty is - what does your uncle choose when he gets home.

My heart goes out to you - what you're experiencing sucks - it's a very cruel form of powerlessness in which we watch people we love be claimed and slowly destroyed by the disease of addiction. Please consider that sharing your concerns with your uncle may be the best intervention. Shaming and anger are ineffective and separate us from loved ones. Good luck.

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Page last updated Mar 30, 2013

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