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It can be exceptionally difficult to watch someone you love struggle with alcohol abuse or dependency and sometimes you may feel a bit helpless.
Alcohol addiction is a term that is used to describe someone with alcohol dependency which can be both physical and psychological. Therefore, it is generally quite complex to overcome.
When someone has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, other areas of their life are often negatively impacted. Alcoholism can affect personal relationships, professional relationships, productivity, as well as mental and physical health.
Additionally, alcohol addiction can range from mild to severe and can look different in every person. This is an important factor to consider when asking how to help someone with alcohol abuse.
Although it’s noble to try and help someone with alcohol addiction, it’s important to remember that the person you are trying to help is actually willing to start their journey to sobriety.
This is a difficult path but entirely possible when someone has made the choice to do so. You cannot force someone to recover from alcohol addiction and trying to do so may damage the trust they have in you. It’s a delicate situation which should be approached with care.
Below are some ways that you can help the person you love who is struggling with alcohol abuse.
You may think that someone has a problem with alcohol abuse, but alcoholism is more than just drinking socially or too much every now and then.
Therefore, before you approach someone, it’s crucial that you understand what alcohol addiction looks like. In our next article, we will look at the symptoms of alcohol abuse and how to identify it in someone you love.
Discretion is key when addressing someone who abuses alcohol. You need to make it clear that you are coming from a place of concern and care.
Addressing them in the wrong way can push them further away from you, making it harder for you to be able to help.
You may want to explain how alcohol has impacted your life or someone else that you care for and that you wouldn’t want to see the same thing happen to them.
What you say and how you say it will determine how well the person receives it. Therefore, go over the conversation in your head, practice what you will say, and prepare yourself for every possible response so that you can avoid causing unnecessary conflict.
Time and place will play an important role in this conversation too. Make sure that you choose a place that is neutral, safe, and private to have your conversation so that you aren’t faced with any interruptions.
Additionally, you should choose a time when the person you are speaking to is sober. Think of inviting them to your home for a morning cup of tea.
Also make sure that your person is not upset or preoccupied with other issues and if this is the case, rather postpone the conversation to another time.
Addressing this issue is not only going to be difficult for you but for the person hearing it too. Be sure to approach the topic with utmost compassion and let them know that you care and are there to support them through their journey.
It’s possible that your person will respond negatively but it’s important to stay compassionate and to listen with empathy. Do not take their response personally, but rather understand that they may still be in denial about their addiction, and you may be the first time they have had to consider the fact that they have a dependency issue.
Your support doesn’t end after the conversation is done. If your loved one agrees to treatment for their alcohol addiction, it’s important that you are there for them the whole way through.
Maybe they are not ready to receive treatment straight away but promise to cut back on their intake independently – remember you cannot force them to do anything they are not ready to do, but you can show them support by checking in regularly and encouraging them along the way.
Although alcohol addiction can vary in severity, it most often requires professional treatment and early intervention.
By encouraging someone with alcohol dependency issues to seek treatment, you are encouraging them to pursue a better life and they will need your ongoing support.
Our rehabilitation centre in South Africa offers both inpatient and outpatient programs for alcohol addiction recovery.
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