Ways to Help an Alcoholic
Watching someone you care about experience a drinking problem or alcoholism is never easy; many people feel the urge to help someone who is struggling, but it can be a very daunting task. Not everyone who had an alcohol dependency realizes their problem, or perhaps they don’t want to get better.
When an individual isn’t looking for help, you certainly cannot force them to get better. The decision to change has to come from the addict themselves, and this is when your support can make all the difference.
If someone you know is trying to break their drinking habit, consider these four ways to help an alcoholic, to get them back on the right track.
Trying to help an alcoholic before you understand alcoholism, is like trying to find a solution to something before you’ve even read the question. Without any helpful information to guide you, there’s no way that you’ll be able to figure out what exactly you’re trying to solve.
Someone who suffers from alcoholism will have a much different lifestyle than someone who simply enjoys drinking on a consistent basis. It is important to recognize the signs of alcoholism, before you approach someone about their situation.
An alcoholic will have zero control over their drinking, and they will be adamant to finish any type of alcohol that is present. Some symptoms to look out for include aggression, blackouts, coordination loss, self-destructive behavior and an extremely high alcohol tolerance.
There are some ways to help an alcoholic that are easier than others, and this option tends to be one of the harder approaches. Unfortunately, it’s necessary.
Alcoholism can create unapproachable attitudes in the people we know best, and often they cannot be reasoned with. Even if you can’t cure an alcoholic, you can stop yourself from supporting their habit.
Try not to make excuses for your friend or family member, and don’t feel badly if you have to cut them off from your assistance if they’re taking advantage of you. You can try to disable their behavior by refusing to drink with them, declining to pay for their bills and denying them rides when they’ve have too much.
Use the Right Vocabulary
Trying to help an alcoholic is not easy; some individuals are very sensitive about their situation, and your approach should take this into account. It is ideal if you avoid using language that sounds hurtful or judgmental, and try to listen as often as you can.
It helps when an individual can tell that your worries are genuine, and that you truly want to help them get better. Showing an alcoholic an authentic side of yourself will help them to take you seriously, and they may appreciate your help that much more.
Be aware that many people with addiction feel guilt and shame for their habit, and they may not respond well at first. Avoid using threatening tones or preaching too much, and be ready to take your time with them.
Offer Your Time
Telling someone you want to help them break their drinking habit is easier said than done; if you truly want to help, it will take some action.
If you can, offer some of your time to attend support meetings with them, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, offer some personal time with them, which will keep them busy and away from temptation.
If you’re looking for ways to help an alcoholic, these four suggestions may be useful for getting your foot in the door. Keep in mind that the journey may be long, and there may be relapses that you cannot control.
Maintain positivity as best you can, and remember all of the reasons why you wanted to help this specific person in the first place.