Watching a friend develop and struggle with an alcohol problem can be extremely difficult to deal with. You may wonder how you can help them, whether they are asking for help or not, but alcoholism is a tricky subject to broach with people who may not even realize they’re struggling. Here are some tips on ways you can help a friend in need.
Learn about Alcoholism
Before you can help someone who is struggling with their dependency on alcohol, it’s important to educate yourself on alcohol addiction. Alcohol use disorder or alcoholism is more than simply drinking too much on occasion – it’s often used as a coping mechanism or as a way of dealing with social situations, but this differs from alcoholism. People who are dealing with alcoholism don’t know how to drink in moderation, even if they say they’re only going to have one drink. Before approaching the subject, read up on the signs of the disorder, as well as the methods of treatment such as a rehab centre like Rehab Today, to learn more about it so you can go into a conversation prepared.
Choose the Time and Place Carefully
As with any important conversation, picking the right time and place is vital. Make sure that you talk to your friend in a private place where it’s quiet and you have the time to really delve into the topic. You will want to avoid interruptions so you can both have each other’s full attention and make sure that the other person isn’t upset or dealing with other issues, so they’re fully focused. Approach the conversation compassionately and with honesty, but most importantly be supportive – the other person may not even know they have a problem and they may be negative or defensive at first.
The other alternative to a simple conversation is an intervention, which is much more involved and includes planning, sharing and presenting treatment options. If the individual is very resistant to getting help, an intervention could be the best course of action to help them. In this process, friends and family, or even co-workers, can get together to confront them and share their opinions on why they think the person should seek treatment.
Help them with Treatment Options
If your friend has agreed to get help for their disorder, you can provide support in a number of ways. From helping them find resources in their local area to taking them to appointments or meetings, there are several ways that you can show your friend you are there to help them through this. It also helps to find ways that you can still hang out and spend time together in environments where there isn’t the risk of them drinking, such as going for walks, watching a film or spending time at home watching TV. It’s important to show your friend that your friendship isn’t going to disappear simply because they need to avoid social situations where drink doesn’t play a role.