Addiction Rehab: Boyfriend Admitted Being an Alcoholic, Wants to Fix It. What Can I Do to Help?

Question by Sarah: Boyfriend admitted being an alcoholic, wants to fix it. What can I do to help?
We live together. I am NOT an alcoholic. We’ve been dating for a little while now, both in our mid-20’s. He cracks open a beer (or a mixed drink if there’s no beer in the house) when he gets home from work and doesn’t stop until bed time. He will have anywhere from 6-8 beers on a week day (or mixed drinks) at home. On the weekends, it’s typically mixed drinks and it’s much more than during the week.

It’s hard for me to “accept” that he is an alcoholic because he doesn’t carry a lot of the traits. He does not “hide” bottles, he has a steady job (doesn’t drink before or during work), he ONLY drinks after work or on the weekends at night time (meaning he’s not drinking in the middle of the night, in the morning, or during the day), he doesn’t get “drunk” during the week often at all, he does not become abusive in any way/shape/form, he does not drink and drive.

The other day he admitted to me that he has a problem. He says he “needs to have a beer after work, and one quickly turns into eight. But I am addicted.” He was very upset, yet honest and open with me. He said “at this point, I need rehab.”

I know NOTHING about alcoholism. My first reaction was that rehab was a bit extreme, but I didn’t tell him that. I always thought it was odd that he would literally RUN for the fridge after work for a beer. But I figure, no one knows except for him.

I don’t drink often. Maybe a glass of wine here and there at dinner, and a few drinks every couple weekends. (Remember, we’re at “that” age where going out is still a lot of fun! Except I can stop at 3 drinks with no problem, and he just cannot stop once he starts.)

He has acknowledged his problem. We are serious about each other and have a wonderful relationship. The only “issue” we have is that I am concerned for his health and I wish he wasn’t so dependent on cracking open a beer the minute he walks in the door. I am prepared to stop drinking with him if it comes down to it. What can I do to help?
Tod – He absolutely does not need an intervention. As I stated above, he has come to me and admitted his addiction and wants to become sober. I’m asking if people think rehab is necessary or of AA would do the trick, and what I can do as his girlfriend to help with his recovery.
I’m getting a lot of great ideas on here! But some people think I’m an alcoholic myself, and I am not. I can admit that I was enabling before I realized the “severity” of this situation. Since he has come to me and admitted his addiction, I truly saw how intense this could get. “What is enabling” is a gray area when you live with someone. I don’t buy him alcohol and the last couple days (since he told me) I haven’t drank, although I probably wouldn’t have anyways because I typically don’t have a drink during the week. But what else could I do to NOT enable? We haven’t been to bars lately, I don’t buy him alcohol, and I haven’t drank personally since he told me.

Also this is important: He does not have health insurance for rehab, etc. Are there ways around that?

Best answer:

Answer by Tod

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