How To Help A Loved One With A Drinking Problem

How to Help a Loved One With a Drinking Problem

Seeing a loved one struggle with alcoholism can be disheartening. You keep on thinking of ways of helping them and if they are willing to accept your help. However, helping them can be emotionally rewarding and worth it for your relationship. Alcoholism is a name that defines an individual with an alcohol use disorder. Such an individual is both psychologically and physically reliant on alcohol for survival. Here are ways of supporting a loved one with a drinking problem.

Learn About The Alcohol Use Disorder

The first step in helping a family member or a friend suffering from alcoholism is by understanding whether they are addicted to alcohol or just a social drinker. Alcoholism is beyond the overuse of alcohol and not just the habit of over-drinking from time to time. These two situations are different because individuals suffering from alcoholism cannot control their drinking habits even if they want to. Therefore, learning about alcoholism will enable you to understand the behavior of your loved one, hence, being in a position to help them. To help them, you can join an online group to understand alcohol use disorder better. You will learn about the psychological and emotional effects it is causing on you. Additionally, you will also understand some of your unhealthy behavior towards them and how it may be contributing to their alcoholism.

Have A Non-Confrontational Conversation With Them

It might be a very challenging conversation to have. Therefore, you need to prepare for it adequately. You should converse when your loved one is sober and somehow emotionally stable. You should also ensure that you are relaxed so that your loved one does not feel confronted. During this conversation, empathize with your loved one and show concern and genuineness about how alcohol use negatively affects your loved one and the entire family. It may include their troubled relationships with other family members and friends. Make your family member understand that you are willing to help them deal with their alcoholism. It can be effective by finding a rehab facility or a 12-step program for treatment. You can also assist them with particular responsibilities in their house during their recovery time.

Consider the CRAFT Method

The first step may not be successful in helping your loved one to stop drinking, which in most cases is not. Even with your loved one's dedication to change, they may need several treatments before they stop. Therefore, you should consider several interventions. Most addiction professionals recommend Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT). It is a more effective means of helping your loved one recover from alcoholism. According to research, the effectiveness of CRAFT interventions ranges from 64 to 74% in assisting your loved one to recover from alcoholism. It enables the family members or the individuals that are willing to help to:

Determine the triggers of alcohol use

Develop and enhance the communication skills

Determine the triggers of violence

Identify and break the patterns that lead to alcohol use

Exercise self-care and revive their personal beliefs and values

Create a plan of ensuring their safety and that of their family members

Be Supportive But Don't Enable

It is normal to only focus on the behavior of alcoholic individuals and how it affects them. As a result, you forget about yourself and your needs, which is emotionally and psychologically harmful to your health. According to Sober in Seven's sober coach in the UK, "be supportive but don't take it on your own shoulders." It means that after taking all the necessary steps to help your loved one, you should understand that you cannot force your loved one to change as they are the only ones who can make that choice. Therefore, you should provide them with support and interventions and follow up with the outcome while focusing on your life.

Individuals suffering from alcoholism cannot control their drinking behavior. Therefore, they choose to continue drinking despite causing them pain and issues in their lives. Alcoholism is a chronic condition with various symptoms and is usually triggered by life experiences and genes. You should, therefore, help your loved one recover from alcoholism. It would be best to understand that it is significant for individuals with alcohol use disorder to take responsibility for their behavior. Therefore, you should not forget about yourself.

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