How do I help? What do I do?
When someone close to you has a problem, it’s often hard to admit, and even harder
to know what to do to help. At Intermountain, we’ve helped coach family, friends,
and employers to get help for someone they think might need it. Just as important,
we can help you gain understanding and support for yourself as an affected person who cares.
Who is qualified to help?
Friends, relatives, or coworkers, without training in alcohol or substance abuse can easily get in way over their heads when trying to help. Yet, if someone you know seems to be in trouble, there’s a strong chance they are. It’s important not to blame yourself or make someone else’s problems your responsibility. But it’s also important to reach out to qualified professionals to gain an understanding of your role. This is something you can do for yourself, and of course, because you care. At Intermountain Hospital, our admissions team deals with inquiries every day, and can help you quickly understand and be armed with information and tools to address your own concerns and possibly suggest professional help.
How can I tell if it’s really a serious problem?
When alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications are negatively impacting someone’s major life areas of work, school, family, friendships, finances, legal and mental or physical health—these are all major warning signs. Many screening tools exist that can help you or someone close to you reach a yes/no answer as to whether addiction is present. From there, assessment tools can also help determine the degree of concern, and treatment from counseling or outpatient treatment to inpatient treatment. You don’t have to be the person with the problem to seek help from Intermountain Hospital’s admissions team. Often, one quick discussion can bring clarity and direction, as well as tools and resources to share if appropriate.
Can educated, employed, successful people still have a problem?
Addiction strikes across every level of education, background, income level, profession, or religious practice—and can strike any ethnicity. Many “functional” addicts and alcoholics and those close to them can often fall into denial of a problem based on misconceptions of what it looks like to be a problem addict or alcoholic who needs help. At Intermountain Hospital, our team of professionals can lend a depth of training and experience to help see beneath the surface and identify the warning signs of a problem.
When is it time for me to do something?
It’s never too early to seek advice. The sooner you reach out to gain information and support, the better you’ll be able to know you’ve done what you can. You may also find tools and answers to better cope with the burden of being close to someone with a problem, which can often affect you as much as the person with the problem. At Intermountain, we’re here with some good basic pointers.
How do I tell someone I’m concerned for them?
This is not an easy decision. It’s best to talk with a professional before taking this step. Intermountain will be able to provide guidance with this and, if needed, refer you to a licensed interventionist. An addict or alcoholic may have a strong denial system, or co-occurring disorders. Their reaction may be unpredictable. At Intermountain, we know the territory, and can bring clarity and some good pointers from experience with many thousands of inquiries.
What do I do if they refuse to talk about it?
Don’t blame yourself. You are not responsible for the addict or alcoholic’s problems. Yet as someone who is affected, you are responsible for your own self care. There are counseling resources and community support groups for those affected. Our team at Intermountain can direct you to a few of these very helpful resources.
What do I do if they admit it’s a problem?
Don’t hesitate to encourage them to contact us. We are well versed in motivating and assisting individuals while they are contemplating therapy. Intermountain Hospital has a full range of options and our admissions staff can provide helpful advice, resources, and next steps by phone and via email.
Contact our admissions team 24 hours a day at: