Author: James Anderson

How To Help Your Alcoholic Loved One 20 Tips To Keep In Mind

how to deal with an alcoholic

Fortunately, there are ways for you to help them overcome their addiction. Setting boundaries is something you do for yourself—it’s not about controlling your loved one or trying to change their behavior. In order to effectively do this, you have to let go to some degree. Detaching helps you look at the situation more objectively instead of feeling overwhelmed by the pain of it.

how to deal with an alcoholic

If you are doing anything that your loved one would be doing if they were sober, you are enabling them to avoid their responsibilities. Making an excuse for them is enabling because it lets your loved one “off the hook.” Now, they won’t have to face the consequences of their alcohol use. Remember that you can’t change other people but you can change your behaviors and reactions toward them.

How alcohol addiction can affect a household

This way, you will not find yourself without anything to say and have more chances of persuading your loved one to undergo treatment. Books on recovery from alcoholism can also help one find the right words to reach the alcohol user. You probably realize that purchasing alcohol for someone who is misusing it is clearly enabling—but what about giving them money? If you’re offering financial support to a person who is misusing alcohol, you may find it’s not much different than if you bought the alcohol for them. Caring for a person who has problems with alcohol can be very stressful. It is important that as you try to help your loved one, you find a way to take care of yourself as well.

how to deal with an alcoholic

As harsh as this sounds, you should never take responsibility for the actions of an alcoholic. If you approve of their habits, an alcoholic will carry on acting as before, knowing there is someone they can use as a shield. In cases of abuse, walking away may be your only option. Your safety is more valuable than your loved one’s recovery. Whichever you decide, you can still seek support and therapy after you walk away. Hanging out will help them take their mind off of drinking.

Don’t Enable Their Behavior

Alcohol-related problems—which result from drinking too much, too fast, or too often—are among the most significant public health issues in the United States. Realize that you can’t force someone who doesn’t want to go into treatment. Imagine yourself in the same situation and what your reaction might be.

  1. Research shows that most people who have alcohol problems are able to reduce their drinking or quit entirely.
  2. Saying, “If you don’t quit drinking, I will leave!” is an ultimatum and a threat, but saying, “I will not have drinking in my home” is setting a boundary.
  3. You and your partner must be equally committed to rehab if you want to stay together.
  4. Let them know you are willing to understand what they are going through.
  5. You can also search for online resources on alcohol use disorder.

To learn more, read about alcoholism and its symptoms. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs provide peer support for people quitting or cutting back on their drinking. Combined with treatment led by health professionals, mutual-support groups can offer a valuable added layer of support. Instead, seek emotional support from those around youYou’ve taken up the challenge to help a loved one become sober.

Don’t cover up bad behavior

The good news is that no matter how severe the problem may seem, most people with AUD can benefit from some form of treatment. She’s also currently working on her dissertation, which explores intersections of disability studies and literacy studies. When she’s not researching or writing, Cherney enjoys getting outdoors as much as possible. It’s also important to ask your loved one directly what you can do to help, especially during special events where alcohol may be served. Talk therapy (or play therapy for younger children) can also help you all work through the challenges AUD can present to a household. You may still want to help your loved one when they are in the middle of a crisis.

Residential treatment programs

Programs like Al-anon, Alateen and Families Anonymous offer opportunities for emotional support. The interventionist will hold a session where he or she will point out the reality of the addict’s situation. More importantly, the interventionist will explain the consequences of carrying on drinking, which could inspire the alcoholic to agree and embrace change. Some of your actions, although with the best of intentions, will backfire and fuel an addict’s alcohol abuse. Keep these pointers in mind so that you don’t unknowingly support their behavior. You can help them explore different treatment programs or local rehab centers.

After recovery, some people with AUD may need support from friends and family. You can help by offering unconditional support, including abstaining from drinking yourself. Do your best to understand that they’re dealing with an illness. Speak with them when they’re soberWhen under the influence of alcohol, a person will have difficulty thinking straight and clear. You can see why talking with them about their problem at such times could be a bad idea. Not only will the person disregard your motivations, he or she won’t be able to differentiate between what’s good and bad for them.

If you say or do something negative in response to what your loved one has done, that gives them the opportunity to react to your reaction. But if you stay quiet or go on with your life as if nothing happened, then they are left with nothing to respond to except their own actions. ” Yep, you’re right—they could. And losing their job might be the “wake-up call” they need to start taking responsibility for their behavior. Take an honest look at how often and how much you drink. Be prepared to discuss any problems that alcohol may be causing. You may want to take a family member or friend along, if possible.