Alcohol addiction is unfortunately common today. Not only is this type of addiction harmful to the individual’s health, but it can affect their day-to-day life and create rifts in their relationships. Experiencing alcohol addiction is one thing, but witnessing a loved one struggle to overcome it can be much more difficult to digest.
You can do several things to help a loved one with their alcohol addiction. To start, you need to educate yourself on addiction, after which you can practice what you’ll say to your loved one. Then, you should choose the right time and place to have this discussion and offer your support — it’s easier to tackle these issues with someone.
If you feel ill-prepared to help a loved one with addiction, hopefully, this article can guide you in the right direction.
Learning About Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol addiction is more than just drinking too much from time to time. Before looking into alcohol addiction treatment options for your loved one, take the time to learn about them.
There are excellent resources online that can give you an idea of what alcohol addiction can look like and how you can approach recovery. Some of these resources include the following:
While some of the best sources might be an online search away, you can also speak to professionals at alcohol and drug treatment centers.
Know What You Want to Say
Knowing what you want to say to your loved one before you begin the conversation is important. Addiction can be a sensitive topic, and going into the conversation with no plan can lead to uncomfortable and insensitive comments if you aren’t careful; this shouldn’t scare you into beating around the bush, but you should be aware of what might trigger them.
Avoid accusatory statements when speaking with your loved ones, and try using more “I” statements. Saying things like “I want to be here for you because I care about you” is much more effective than just pointing out their addiction.
Choose the Right Time and Place
It’s crucial for your loved one’s emotional and mental well-being that you choose an appropriate place and time to have a conversation about their addiction. Make sure you can speak with them privately, so they feel comfortable, and never start the conversation if they’re dealing with another life event.
The best way to go about this step is to ask them if they’re ready to talk. You can take it a step further by giving them the freedom to choose the location where you’ll have this discussion. Making your loved one feel 100% comfortable is the best way to get them started on the path to recovery.
Be Honest and Be Compassionate
When the conversation starts, keep an open mind, be honest, and most importantly, be compassionate with your loved one; never be judgemental and try to put yourself in their shoes. It’s difficult enough to open up about addiction, so make sure that you’re helping them feel heard.
Try to save talk about alcohol addiction facilities until the end, or even wait for another time if you feel they’re not ready. Always prioritize their feelings and don’t try to push them into something they’re not ready for.
Offer Them Your Support
As mentioned above, don’t try to force your loved ones into alcohol addiction treatment if they’re not ready — this may cause a rift in your relationship and be detrimental to any progress they may have made. The best thing you can do as they prepare themselves for treatment is to offer them your support.
Ask them what you can do to make their life easier, even if it’s something small. They may start the process by telling you that they will try to overcome the addiction on their own. In these situations, ask them what you can do to help facilitate their recovery, but make them aware that detoxing without professional help can be dangerous.
If it would help them, ask them how they would feel about you forming a support system for them. Explain to them how this would benefit them and assure them that it would be comprised of their closest friends and family.
What NOT to do When Helping a Loved One Overcome Addiction
Just like there are several things you can do to support your loved one, you should be aware of certain things that could harm their recovery process. The part you play in their addiction recovery isn’t complete until they’re in a rehabilitation program, end even then, you should be the backbone of their support system.
When you’re around your loved one, avoid the following:
- Drinking around them, even in social situations. Additionally, avoid involving them in situations where alcohol may be present.
- Don’t attempt to take on their responsibilities. Helping them live their day-to-day is fine, but their responsibilities will allow them to build healthy routines crucial for recovery.
- Don’t provide financial support unless you’re paying for treatment directly. Relapse can happen anytime, and providing them with financial support could lead them to purchase alcohol.
- Avoid unhelpful advice and controlling behavior. You’re there to support your loved one, not dictate their life. Guide them if you feel like they’re straying too far from their recovery, but don’t smother them.
It’s essential to recognize activities and actions that could be detrimental to your loved one’s recovery so you can avoid a relapse.
Get Your Loved One the Treatment They Need at Ardu Recovery Center
Alcohol addiction facilities should be the end goal, but it takes time. Once you feel like your loved one might be ready for the next step in their recovery journey, get in touch with us at Ardu Recovery Center.
Our facilities in Povo, Utah, offer various addiction treatment services and programs to help get our loved ones on the right track to recovery.