Watching a loved one struggle with an alcohol addiction is never easy. Whether it’s a close friend, family member, or even a co-worker, the effects of being addicted to alcohol can be disastrous, both for the patient themselves and for those closest to them. At times, you are likely to feel helpless, even overwhelmed by the scale of the problem, and feeling that there is nothing constructive that you can do to help them turn their life around and get back on the road to recovery and full health. But, there are some things that you can do to support and assist your loved one. Here are the best things to do to be a force for good in their life.
#1. Educate Yourself
Before you try and help, it is a good idea to educate yourself by researching alcohol addiction disorder and understanding how it works and affects the sufferers. Alcoholism is much more than simply enjoying a few too many drinks from time to time; it develops when the sufferer becomes reliant on drinking alcohol and many patients won’t make this obvious. Most people with alcohol use disorder will not drink in moderation, and often will not limit their alcohol use to social gatherings only – they are likely to drink at times of the day that aren’t widely socially acceptable. It’s important to learn about the different signs and symptoms so that you can determine whether your loved one does indeed have a problem, and so that you can be better equipped to offer your support.
#2. Be Patient and Understanding
For people who have never gone through the pain of an alcohol addiction, it can be difficult to put yourself in the shoes of somebody who has. When you bring up the subject, it’s important that you are patient, understanding, and non-judgmental; saying negative things, making assumptions, or saying things that could be hurtful may only worsen the situation. Instead, try to encourage your loved one to talk to you so that you can better understand it from their point of view.
#3. Encourage Them to Seek Help
Alcohol use disorder is often met with stigma and a lack of understanding; many people blame the patient for allowing themselves to get into this situation, whilst others may be unable to understand why somebody cannot just put an end to their drinking. Because of this, it’s no surprise that many people suffering from alcoholism may feel reluctant, or even scared, of seeking help and opening up about their struggle. Having a close friend, family member, or co-worker by their side to support them during this very brave move to get help could be just what they need to find their inner strength; allow them to lean on you if needed. For example, you could put them in touch with an understanding therapist, one that specializes in this type of issue, or you could help them to find a suitable alcoholism treatment center where they can be given the care and support that they need to rebuild their life.
Alcoholism is a nasty disease, but with your help, your loved one can overcome it.