Are you living with an alcoholic and want to help them? Alcohol abuse is a serious problem and not every strategy you employ is going to work. if you want a person to recover from alcoholism, here are six tips you can use to assist them in recovering.
Alcoholism is a common condition. if you don’t believe that, tell us, don’t most of us know at least one person who struggles with alcoholism. When the objective is recovery from alcohol and drug abuse, you realise that it’s not the easiest task to accomplish. You are also forced to wonder at times if your help is wanted in the first place, especially when you see an alcoholic wasting away and doing nothing about it – not even admitting they have a problem.
It won’t be an overstatement to say that it is a disorder relating to alcohol use, in which a person has a physical and psychological dependence on the substance. Like all other forms of drug abuse and addiction, the person does not have any control over their drinking, and they continue to drink even when it is causing them problems in various aspects of their lives. The problems can even interfere with their health or social relationships.
The disorder can range from minor to critical, and even minor cases can develop into critical ones. The best thing to do is seeking treatment early enough before it worsens, but the person needs to be willing to receive help in overcoming the condition. You can also play your part in helping them through certain measures, such as these below.
Learn how alcoholism works
Before you begin taking any measures, it is important that you know how the condition works, because this will help you know if your loved one or friend actually has an addiction to alcohol.
It is more than continuous drinking too much of it sometimes – alcohol can also be taken as a coping mechanism, or just as a social habit. A person who has alcohol abuse disorders never drink in moderate amounts, even though they say they are not drinking that much.
Alcoholism is a complex condition that involves various symptoms caused by changes in the brain, similar to other drugs – and that makes it difficult to just quit. There are also resources you can use to learn about the condition.
Practice what you speak
Recovery from alcohol and drug abuse takes a heavy toll on the person, so you need to let them know that you will be there for them. It is important to formulate statements that are supportive and positive, and avoid having presumptive, hurtful and negative communication.
You also need to incorporate more ‘I’ statements, as this will make you an active participant instead of a passive one. This will stop the tendency of shifting blame and accusations on the person, and letting them know you are concerned about them and want to see them make a full recovery.
It is also important that you carefully listen to and retain every response by them, and prepare for all the possible answers they may give you. No matter their reaction, you want to ensure you remain as calm as possible and tell them you are ready to support them in the journey of sobriety.
Choose the best atmosphere to have the discussion
You cannot have the discussion at any random place and time, so be wise enough to pick the right place. Choose a place that guarantees you privacy and no interruption. Even more so, the person themselves should be sober, so that there are no misunderstandings.
Listen to them clearly and approach them with honesty
If the person you are concerned about does have an actual problem of alcoholism, then you need to be honest with them as much as possible. When you are just hoping the person will realize their folly and seek help, it may never happen – and the situation will not change.
Inform them that their habits are a cause of concern to you, and remind them that you are willing to support them when they decide to go through the recovery process. Do not expect a positive reaction though – it is human nature to not want to receive help at first. Any resistance they give you should prompt you to roll with it.
This is because they are likely in denial of the situation, and that makes them react angrily to your suggestions. Once you have brought it up to them, give them a chance to decide on what they want, and listen to the things they want to express.
Give them your support
Once your loved one decides they want to go to alcohol rehab, it is important that you offer them assistance. You cannot force them to accept help, but you can help them through the process by being sincere, kind and nonjudgmental.
They may decide that they want to reduce their alcohol intake on their own, but you need their actions to back their decision. Encourage them to get into recovery programs, because addiction is not something they can overcome alone – they need new strategies to cope with the addiction. When they make commitments, make sure that you follow up on all of them.
It is also a good idea to involve family members and friends that are willing to assist them. This will definitely depend on several factors, including how private the person is and the severity of their addiction.
Intervening (on occasional basis)
When you want to discuss your concerns with someone, you formulate a strategy of approaching them. However, intervention is different from this, because it involves extensive planning, setting consequences, sharing the plan, and coming up with a concrete option for treatment.
This can be applicable when the person themselves is resistant to getting any help. You can gather their close friends, co-workers or family members to get together and directly confront them while urging them to seek treatment. You can additionally involve a trusted therapist to assist them through counseling.
It is definitely not easy dealing with addictions, but it is essential. Above all, the most important thing is showing the person that you are there for them, and willing to support them in their journey – for the sake of their health and your relationship to them.
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