Is your loved one suffering from alcohol abuse? If so, let’s discuss the next steps you should take.
When a family member or friend struggles with this disease, it can take a toll on everyone around them. And if you’re nervous to talk about it with them, you’re not alone. But unfortunately, nothing will change until everything is addressed.
Keep reading to learn how you can encourage someone with an alcohol problem to seek help.
Learn About Alcohol Addiction First
Identify your loved one’s drinking habits and be sure they’re definitely suffering from alcoholism. They may also suffer from high functioning alcoholism, which can be more difficult to identify.
Symptoms of alcohol addiction include:
- Binge drinking
- Drinking alone
- Blacking out from drinking
- Covering up drinking
- Drinking in an inappropriate setting
- Can’t seem to cut back on drinking
- Missing work or school to drink
- Getting defensive or angry when asked about drinking
If you believe that they’re suffering from this disease, continue to do more research on their condition. You can also practice or outline what you want to say so you’re prepared for the conversation.
Be Caring and Honest
Before the conversation starts, ensure that your loved one is sober. You should also be in a comfortable space without any distractions.
Approach the situation with kindness while still being honest about your feelings. If you approach the situation with judgment or anger, they will be much less likely to open up and accept help. A good way to bring specific yet constructive information to the conversation is by using “I” statements.
For example, saying, “You have a drinking problem and it’s destroying our family” is accusatory. Instead, try saying, “I love you, so I’m sad to see you hurting. I feel that your drinking habits are becoming destructive.”
Suggest They Seek Help
After listening to their feelings, suggest a treatment plan if you think they’re open to it. This could be therapy, support group meetings, doctor visits, rehab, or a mix.
But if they’re not open to it, revisit the conversation another time or stage an intervention. Because no matter how much you want to help, you can’t force someone to seek treatment.
Offer Your Support
If they’ve accepted any kind of help, offer your support going forward. Tell them that they’re not alone, no matter how difficult the recovery process is.
Support may be accompanying them to meetings and appointments. But it could also be going sober with them, helping them to find new activities, or caring for them on bad days. The support they need depends on their specific situation.
You’re Doing the Right Thing
Encouraging your loved one to seek help shows that you care about their wellbeing. And no matter how difficult the conversation is, just know that you’re doing the right thing. All you can do is learn about the disease, stay open, and show your support.
If you found this article helpful, read some of our other content on home living.