If treatment doesn't work

If you've tried to stop drinking, but without any sustained success, then here are the things you should consider:

Was I ready?

Consider everything I talked about in chapter 3.Was it that you just weren't ready to take on the task? It might be that you were trying to stop for the wrong reasons; maybe there were just a couple of tiny things tripping you up; maybe you just didn't make the project your absolute number one priority; maybe you didn't make big enough changes in your life. Is it possible that you were, either consciously or unconsciously, trying to stop mainly because you were under pressure from someone else.

Was the treatment right for me?

Think carefully about how you approached things.Was the help you got right for you? Did it make sense? Did you trust the people who treated you? Could you get on with them?

It may be that you can try the same treatment again, fine tuning your approach and response to it to give it a better chance of success.

If you think that whatever help you were getting just didn't suit you, though - try something else. Perhaps you need a more intensive treatment, and you could consider going to a residential rehab; or maybe it would help if you got over your unease with AA meetings and threw yourself into it?

There's no definitive answer I can give you. Sometimes it just takes a number of attempts to succeed.

If you're paying for a family member to receive private treatment, please don't go chasing ever more eccentric treatments in the hope that the next one will be the magic wand. The more you go beyond mainstream services, the less likely you are to find something that's got a chance of working. It's heartbreaking watching a family throw more and more money at things, when really the drinker just isn't ready to stop yet.