Alcoholism affects not only the alcoholic but also their loved ones. Alcoholism can be a tough topic to address, especially when you are unsure what addiction is. Understanding alcoholism and how to help an alcoholic in your family is important if you want to help them get the recovery they deserve. It is hard for any family member to watch someone spiral downward into alcoholism. These five ways you can help an alcoholic in your family.
Get Educated About Alcohol Use Disorders
Do not simply dismiss the problem as if it will take care of itself or that things will magically get better. Learn about alcoholism and its effects on the brain, body, and behavior. Additionally, learn how it affects individuals and the best methods for helping an alcoholic recover through treatment. If you are not well informed about how the disease of alcoholism works, then you are powerless to help an alcoholic. Alcoholism has been scientifically defined as a treatable medical condition that requires advanced psychiatric care and is not just a bad habit that people can kick on their own. It is easy to conclude that they are simply choosing to live as alcoholics, and it is somehow your fault or theirs.
Be Compassionate and Patient
If you are the person who discovered that your loved one is an alcoholic, do not jump to conclusions. Remember, they are still human beings and do not deserve to be treated as objects. Be gentle when confronting the alcoholic, offering them empathy, support, and understanding. Do not make attempts at helping them with advice by suggesting therapy or forcing them into rehab as if it were high school again. Keep an open mind to their situation without judging them for what they have done or their specific drinking choices. When speaking with an alcoholic about their addiction, be calm and patient. You must understand where the person is coming from before speaking to them about their struggles. Alcoholism is a disease, not a personal choice.
Seek Professional Help for an Alcoholic in Your Family
Alcoholics need to be in the care of a professional who can help them recover and get back on the right path. There is no way that you can handle that on your own. If you want to help an alcoholic in your family, you must find the best treatment or rehabilitation program. If you have no leads for a rehabilitation center, you can search online, for instance, for alcohol rehab in Mississippi, and choose your desired center. It will give you peace of mind and allow them to improve. That will set a clear example for others. Do not be afraid to ask for help from friends and family and seek treatment yourself, as alcoholism can destroy families faster than anything else.
Create a Healthy Environment
Make sure their home, your home, and all other places where they hang out and gather are stress-free. Reduce the amount of alcohol consumed and make sure there are alternatives to drinking, such as wine coolers, coffee, or tea. Do not drink or use drugs around them. They can get into trouble with alcohol when they do not know how much they have had to drink and request more alcohol than you intend to provide. Also, avoid having friends over at inappropriate times that cause temptation. Do not let others pressure you into allowing your alcoholic to drink or use other drugs.
Alcoholics will push and guilt you into almost everything. They will use your emotions against you for their gain. They are often manipulative and keep you in the dark about their true problems. That is why you must set limits on when they can consume alcohol. It might seem drastic at first, but truly it is about your safety when dealing with an alcoholic, as there is a high probability that they will one day break down under the stressors of their addiction.
Sometimes, it can help get rid of an addiction by replacing it with something else, less harmful. For example, many smokers have found that switching to nicotine pouches such as ZYN or Velo can help them quit smoking for good. This way, they get their nicotine buzz but without all the harmful smoke and all the negative health risks and effects that come with it. A similar principle can apply to alcoholism. Look for things to replace the old habit and addiction with that is more healthy and less harmful.
Conclusion to Help an Alcoholic in Your Family
The trick to helping an alcoholic in your family is to evaluate their situation and determine if the problem is severe enough for them to require professional help for their condition. The only way to know that is through observation of that person’s specific needs, staying aware of their overall emotional well-being, and being on the lookout for any warning signs that they might be heading in a dangerous direction.