Alcoholism is very hard on the person suffering from alcoholism, as well as his or her friends and family. Even so, most people would rather help the alcoholic than cut that person out of their lives. Providing help for alcoholics isn’t an easy task, but you can do it with knowledge and professional assistance.
Understand the Condition to Provide Help for Alcoholics
Providing help for alcoholics starts with understanding alcoholism. This is a condition with emotional and physical elements. Many alcoholics lack good coping skills. Instead, they drink to numb feelings such as stress, anxiety or depression.
Once they start drinking, their bodies start depending on alcohol to make their brains release certain chemicals, like dopamine. This dependence creates a need to drink. Alcoholics don’t drink because they want to. They drink because their brain tells them they must.
Individuals with alcoholism may also get painful withdrawal symptoms when they don’t drink, such as:
Help for Alcoholics by Talking to Them
Many people fear talking to an alcoholic loved one about his or her condition. They worry that the conversation will start a fight or make things worse. This isn’t a hollow fear.
Alcoholism isn’t a rational condition. Alcoholics often deny that they have a problem or give endless reasons for why it’s okay. Offering help for alcoholics can’t start with a list of rational reasons why they need to stop. Those in denial won’t believe it, and it won’t make those who know they’re in trouble act.
The best you can do is talk to them about how their actions while drinking make you feel. Be specific about a hurtful thing they said or did and how it happens a lot when they drink. Denying that they hurt you is much harder than denying rational reasons. Even so, this tactic may not work on its own.
If you don’t want to tackle your loved one’s alcoholism alone, professional interventionists will stage a meeting to help you confront him or her.
Providing help for alcoholics also means knowing about treatment options. On the whole, alcoholics can’t recover on their own. The withdrawal symptoms are often so bad that it takes medical staff to manage these symptoms. Additionally, most people beginning recovery need professional guidance to build stress management skills and coping mechanisms.
If your loved one is willing to entertain the idea of getting help, you should discuss entering a rehab program. A good rehab center will offer a variety of therapy options, such as:
Wanting to help a loved with alcoholism is understandable, but it’s difficult. You need to understand that an alcoholic’s body constantly demands alcohol. In addition, you’ll need to overcome the denials, but professional interventionists specialize in that. Maybe most importantly, you’ll need treatment options, like a rehab center, ready to go if they come around.
Don’t let alcoholism control your wife, daughter or any other loved one. An Oregon women’s rehab center like Crestview Recovery can help her overcome it. Call 866.262.0531 and set her on the road to recovery.