There Are Great Ways To Help Your Loved Ones With Alcohol Addiction
The reality is that 1 in 7 adults in the U.S. is struggling with alcohol addiction. So, the first thing to know is that you’re not alone. Pretty much everyone knows someone who is affected. Addiction is a wily and devastating disease of brain reward that affects everyone touched by it. When a family member has a substance or alcohol behavior disorder( SUD, AUD), as alcoholism is now called, there is family dysfunction and often chaos. Family members often deny they have a problem when confronted or asked to stop drinking. That means angry fights, resentments as well as legal and financial consequences. Alcohol addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that won’t cure itself. So, now is the time to ask if there is alcohol addiction in your family, and how are you coping with that?
What Can You Do About Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction affects normal functioning, emotional regulation, impulse, control, and decision-making. Brain function is impaired by the disease, so talking with a loved one with addiction is not enough to find recovery. You need help to cope as well as understanding what you can do and what you can’t do to help.
Learn More About Addiction
Helping loved ones with addiction is more effective if you know the basics about how alcoholism is affecting you and your loved ones. If you want to help them recover faster, you can find help from reliable online resources or seek assistance from professionals. Professionals may suggest in-patient or outpatient treatment and the programs and may have help for you, too. Without a thorough knowledge of alcohol addiction, it is hard to help someone achieve long-term recovery results. That is because alcohol addiction isn’t as simple as alcohol abuse. Alcohol Addiction is a chronic mental and physical dependence on alcohol that is unmanageable without treatment. Here are some suggestions to connect and get help.
- Assess The Situation
One of the first steps to help a loved one with alcohol addiction is to assess their condition. Essentially, this step will help determine the severity of the situation, and maybe the factors that lead to it. Assessment is best made by a professional, but you can also observe what’s going on to understand the reality of your family situation and what you all need to do to address, not avoid the situation. What are the red flags? What are the consequences of your loved one’s drinking? What is he or she saying and doing? Promises to stop will not work.
You may also accompany your loved one to a psychologist or psychiatrist who can evaluate his condition and provide appropriate treatment options. With assessment, you may also learn the root cause of their issues and effectively combat alcohol addiction.
- Help Them To Establish Recovery Plans
You might already know what the person’s dealing with upon consulting a professional. The professional you consulted may also tell you what to expect during the onset of their condition. With that, you may help your loved ones start creating a comprehensive recovery plan to keep them guided and motivated.
This plan will consist of the patient’s short-term and long-term goals, alternative courses of action they can take, and rewards. With the appropriate consequences, positive reinforcement may help in boosting their drive to pursue recovery. A timeline may also help them track the input of their recovery and monitor their progress.
- Boost Their Morale
As simple as it may seem, connecting with your loved ones during the onset of their alcohol addiction can be challenging. It’s because they may not be ready to discuss their situation with others and even refuse to accept help. When that happens, it’s significant to maintain your coolness and make them know you love them despite their disease.
Establishing healthy communication and developing healthy family relationships may also help prepare someone to get through alcohol addiction. Apart from that, you may also encourage them to join a program where they can connect with others in recovery. Moreover, providing moral support and boosting their confidence can make them feel that you love and care for them. Lastly, it could motivate them to be better.
- Encourage Loved Ones To Seek Help
Besides making them feel your presence and care, it’s also crucial to help your loved one seek professional help. We mentioned this before. It is still the most important thing you can do, and the only thing that will achieve long-term positive results. We can’t say it often enough.
There are plenty of addiction professionals who can help tackle alcohol addiction, including psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and counselors mentioned earlier. You may also consider alcohol rehabilitation facilities and centers. By utilizing the appropriate treatment options and consulting the right professionals, your loved one has a better chance of recovering.
Supporting a loved one suffering from alcohol addiction isn’t easy, especially if you’re not familiar with the disease. Similarly, it’d be challenging to connect during these trying times and make loved ones feel your support. Fortunately, there are plenty of available options you can consider to get results. So encourage your loved ones and you to seek professional help and support.
Thanks for this post on how families can support their loved ones! There’s an evidence-based approach specifically for families to help them learn HOW to increase connection, improve communication and encourage their loved one’s towards recovery while taking care of themselves in the process. This approach is called CRAFT and there’s lots of awesome websites, books, groups, etc. that use this approach. My favorite book is “Beyond Addiction”… check out SMART Recovery Family & Friends for groups… and google “community reinforcement and family training” for websites that teach more about it (if you just google CRAFT you’ll get information on 15 things you can do with popsicle sticks). AlliesInRecovery.net, drugfree.org are two… and I run a website hub for more information on CRAFT called HelpingFamiliesHelp.com.