Know someone dealing with alcoholism?
What seems like a run-of-the-mill drinking problem could lead to something serious, like mental illnesses and fatalities.
As a matter of fact, around 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually. This splits between 62,000 men and 26,000 women. There are more problems brought about by alcohol abuse and it is not only with health.
Alcohol use disorder can cause destructive effects to someone’s emotional and personal life. These can be in the form of damaged finances or even broken relationships.
While this problem is devastating, there is still hope to turn one around. If your loved one is suffering from alcoholism, you can still help them out of it. Here are some ways on how to help someone with alcoholism.
1. Before You Learn How to Help Someone With Alcoholism, Understand What Alcoholism Is
Before you know how to help someone with alcoholism, you need to start by knowing and understanding what alcoholism is. Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, is not simply drinking too much from time to time.
It is the point when one drinks so much that their body becomes dependent, or even addicted to alcohol.
When this occurs, it becomes the most important thing in their lives. Because of drinking so much alcohol, chemical changes occur in the brain as it increases the release of dopamine. This is the chemical responsible for the increased feeling of pleasure when you drink.
After long and continued use, the pleasure derived from drinking will go away and cause the person to drink more to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can be rather unpleasant and even outright dangerous.
Alcohol abuse has symptoms based on behaviors and physical outcomes caused by it. One who suffers from alcohol use disorder may have the following behaviors:
- Drinking alone
- Drinking more to feel the effects (having a high tolerance)
- Displaying aggressive reactions when asked about drinking habits
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Eating poorly/not eating
- Unable to control alcohol intake
- Missing work/school due to drinking
- Making excuses to drink
- Giving up important activities because of alcohol use
- Continuing to drink despite legal, social, or economic problems
As for physical symptoms, look out for the following as they may experience these:
- Alcohol cravings
- Withdrawal symptoms, including shaking, nausea, and vomiting
- Tremors (involuntary shakes) the morning after drinking
- Memory lapses (blacking out) after a night of drinking
- Illnesses (like cirrhosis, etc.)
By knowing these symptoms and behaviors, you can assess if your loved one may need help with alcoholism. Knowing is half the battle, and the next step is trying to break them free.
2. Be Prepared When Confronting
You will need to have the conversation with your loved one about their problem. In doing so, you must prepare. Formulate statements that are positive and supportive, while avoiding being negative or hurtful. You must make sure that you show that you that you are there for them and you will be helping them with every step of the way.
Also, pick the right time and place when making this important conversation. It has to be in a quiet area that ensures privacy and avoids interruptions. This way, you have each other’s full attention and make sure that the person is sober.
Prepare yourself for every response that you get in this. Remember to stay calm, assure support, and listen with both honesty and compassion.
3. Surround with Supportive People
In helping your loved one in recovering from alcohol abuse, surround yourself with other people who are supportive and intent in helping him out of it. Having level-headed, supportive people among your relatives and loved ones can help you in confronting the situation of the afflicted.
You can also ask help from those who quit drinking successfully to see how they broke out of their drinking habit. While their situations may be different, their insights can prove helpful. After all, information and concern coming from someone who has gone through recovery would mean more and hold much weight.
4. Speak With a Healthcare Provider
You will need aid from a higher authority to help someone going through alcoholism. The first that you should seek is medical help. This includes medical advice and treatment. For treatment, this can range from rehabilitation and therapy to other various treatments like medical detox.
Detox can help in cleansing the body and is best undertaken with proper medical supervision. In other instances, proper therapy and rehab should work out fine.
Consult our healthcare provider in your area to see what you may be facing. For example, if you are within the Savannah, GA area, you can check out our Recovery Center there for help.
5. Encourage Joining a Support Group
Another aspect that can help you with this journey is to encourage being part of a support group. You can join up Al-Anon and Alcoholics Anonymous, for example. You can also check support groups within a local church as well.
Support groups provide assistance and understanding in the situation you and your loved one are in. It offers accountability and their programs are tailor-fitted in allowing your loved one to recover from alcohol abuse. They also have regular meetings where they can also assess each other’s progress.
Another benefit of a support group such as Al-Anon is that they also offer programs to help you as a friend or family member of the alcoholic. This way, you also get to help yourself as supporting a loved one in recovery from alcohol abuse can be taxing.
6. Do Not Enable Them
One thing that you should not do is to give them a reason to continue with their drinking problem. This is prevalent in various ways. One is to not drink in front of them or around them, as it will hinder the recovery process and even tempt them to drink alcohol.
Another is to not engage in behaviors that enable them to drink. This could mean making excuses for them or bailing them out. Tough love can prove difficult, but it is beneficial for your loved one in this case.
7. Continue To Be Supportive of Their Recovery
In helping someone afflicted with alcohol use disorder, their journey to recovery is an ongoing one. This means continuous support, regular therapy sessions, and ensuring that they are free from the addiction.
While what will be next is up to them, the fact that they have agreed to seek help is an important one. What they will need is a push forward.
During this time, do not also forget to take care of yourself. Risks of codependency are quite high in these kinds of situations. If possible, also seek help and know that you can also find ways of supporting your loved one suffering from alcohol abuse without being a counselor.
Learn How to Help someone with alcoholism Today!
Alcoholism is a tough issue to face, but with the right steps and actions, you can help someone out of it and set their lives straight. They will require all the support they need and you can be there for them.
Don’t waste another moment – use these steps to learn how to help someone with alcoholism.
We can help with providing ways in recovery from substance abuse. Visit us today to learn more about these signs on when it is the right time to visit a recovery center or contact us to know more.