How To Help An Alcoholic
If you have ever been in a situation where you have watched a friend, family member, or coworker deal with alcohol use, you understand it can be difficult. You may wonder how to help an alcoholic in your life, or if the person even wants to be helped.
Alcoholism is when a person has a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. They typically have a problem controlling their drinking habits and continue to drink even when it causes problems. Problems with alcoholism generally affect relationships, their work, and their own health.
How to Help
Approaching someone about their alcoholism can be difficult. Below are some ways to help you approach someone you love with an alcohol use disorder:
- Learn about alcoholism: before anything else, you need to know if your loved one has an addiction to alcohol. Alcoholism isn’t simply drinking too much occasionally. An alcoholic doesn’t drink in moderation. To learn more about alcoholism, a quick Google search should take you to many resources online.
- Rehearse what you want to say: it is important for the alcoholic to know you truly care about them. Try to be supportive and positive rather than negative and hurtful. Instead of telling them they are an alcoholic, perhaps you can tell them how concerned you are about the amount they drink and how it can be harmful. Make sure you are prepared for any response. Regardless of their reaction, keep yourself calm and continue showing them respect and support.
- Choose the best time and place: this is an important conversation, so it is imperative to choose the right time and place. Make sure you have privacy and quiet. Choose a place where there will be no interruptions and neither of you will be preoccupied. Most importantly, they need to be sober.
- Be honest and compassionate: if the person is an alcoholic, your best bet is to be honest with them about their problem. They may react negatively, so be prepared. Allow them to have time and space to react, and listen to anything they want to say.
- Be supportive: if your loved one doesn’t want treatment, you can force them. You can simply offer to help. They must make the decision themselves. Try not to be judgmental but, rather, imagine yourself in their shoes. Urge them to try a formal treatment program and work hard towards getting a concrete commitment. If they commit, follow up with them regularly.
- Intervene: if someone is resistant to getting help, an intervention may be necessary. For this to happen, family members, friends, and coworkers confront the person together to urge them to get treatment. A professional counselor often helps with an intervention.
It can be difficult to watch someone you love deal with alcoholism. Anytime you confront an alcoholic, remember to be calm and supportive. If you need help learning more about alcoholism or with confronting someone in your life, give us a call today at Coastal Behavioral Health. We will be happy to walk you through it.
Tags: Alcohol Addiction, Treatment Centers