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Carol Kryder LMFT
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience:  APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
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I think my older sister might be an alcoholic. She started

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I think my older sister might be an alcoholic. She started drinking when she moved away to college and she hid it. We knew she drank but we didn't know it was that much or that she did it to "feel better" and when drunk she'd cut herself. (never to the point of serious damage) When we found out my parents took her out of the situation, moved her back home, and sent her to a counselor. She has stopped cutting but is hanging with some of her old friends. When she comes home she will smell like booze. Tonight she was stumbling drunk. She cries about how much of a failure she is because she's yet to get her masters and calls herself a failure. She hasn't seen the counselor is 6 months, since her insurance changed. My parents think they can talk her out of this, they say they don't know what to do. But it's not enough. I am lost. I want to help her but she doesn't want help. I am afraid, not that she'll hurt herself, but she'll get caught drunk driving. Or worse. She needs help, but what?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 5 years ago.
Hello:

You are correct to be worried about your sister. She apparently is medicating her negative feelings with alcohol and it is only a matter of time before she hurts herself or someone else.

Your parents will not be able to talk her out of this. You need to get together as a family an do an intervention on your sister. I suggest you call an alcohol treatment center or a hospital that treats alcoholics and ask them to assist you in an intervention. The odds are very slim that your sister will willingly accept help. You need to create a crisis in her life in order for her to be willing to enter treatment.

If her alcohol use is daily or almost daily she will need a medically supervised detox. Trying to detox from alcohol without medical supervision (this means inpatient treatment) can be life-threatening. Please call the treatment center and enlist their aid in getting the help for your sister.

I emphasize that you will not be able to talk her out of this, nor will her counselor. She needs specialized and specific professional help and so does the family. You need to learn how to help her to accept treatment and also how to support her in maintaining sobriety after detox. This will be a long road and you all need to be prepared and have the best possible support for her and for you.

Please let me know if you have questions about this. I wish all of you the very best.

Warmest regards,
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience: APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you so much for you answer. I do have a question though. She only drinks once a week on average, when with her old friends, but when she does drink she gets drunk. Never just a sip or glass. Will she still require detox or is that for daily/semi-daily consumption?

Secondly, we were able to convince her to go back to her counselor today. When she was seeing her she showed drastic change (for the better). Should we wait and see how this works for her or ask her counselor to take part?

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