How to Help a Loved One With Alcoholism
When dealing with an alcoholic family member or friend, knowing how to help an alcoholic involves many challenges. The relationship’s trust can be damaged, and hurt feelings may present difficulties in assisting them in mending the addiction and relationship. However, with proper support and addiction treatment, alcoholics can achieve long-term recovery. The key to successful recovery entails all family members being willing to care for and support the addict as they undergo treatment.
Knowing When It’s Time for Help
Deciding whether to talk to your loved one about their alcohol use can be daunting and uncomfortable. However, it is essential to remember that they are not their addiction and worthy of a fulfilling life, free of addiction. But when their habit becomes harmful to themselves and the people around them, the time for encouragement has arrived and it may be what they need to take the next steps to recovery.
How to Talk to Someone About Their Alcoholism
Here are some tips on how to help an alcoholic and get the conversation going:
- Decide what you want to say ahead of time. There’s a good chance that nerves will get the best of you, so you may want to write out key points you want to get across.
- Take an empathetic approach to allow your concerns to be heard without making your loved one feel attacked.
- Gather close friends and family for this conversation who share your concerns.
- Find an appropriate time and to discuss your concerns, so your loved one feels comfortable. Do not have this conversation when this person has been drinking to avoid making them feel attacked or setting them up to promise something they are not ready to do.
- Remain calm and listen compassionately. It’s hard to learn that your friends and family are worried about you, so do not be surprised if your loved one responds emotionally. Let them know that you see they are upset your concerns are rooted in your love for them.
- Seek support for yourself and other family members. Families who have loved ones struggling with addiction need all the help they can get.
Fortunately, you are not alone while trying to help yourself and your family member overcome addiction. There are a plethora of resources available to assist you in learning how to help an alcoholic. Al-Anon is a support group of peers who are struggling with the effects of someone’s alcoholism. This organization will provide you a safe space to self-reflect and share experiences that others can relate to. These groups are led by licensed clinicians providing clinical knowledge into your experiences. Support groups can also help you develop connections with additional resources in the community to help.
How to Support Your Addicted Family Member Without Enabling Them
Know the difference between helping someone and enabling an addict. Let them know you are willing to help them when they are willing to help themselves, but you will not continue contributing to any self-destructive behaviors. It’s okay to be firm but loving.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment at The Source
If your loved one is ready to pursue recovery and experience a happier, healthier life, allow our compassionate and experienced team at The Source to help. We provide individualized and comprehensive treatment plans to support your journey to sobriety. At The Source, we understand how trauma contributes to substance abuse, so processing these underlying causes is paramount in our treatment. Whether seeking inpatient or outpatient care, The Source has a program to fit your unique needs. If you would like additional resources or more information on alcohol treatment at The Source, please give our loving staff a call at (800) 204-0418.