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How To Help An Alcoholic

Speak To A Professional Confidentially

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If you’ve known someone with an alcohol problem, you also know how difficult it may be to get them to stop drinking. They won’t do it unless they want to stop drinking themselves. The addict may indeed be the one to put a stop to their alcohol use, but it’s their loved ones that will support them throughout that time.

Is It Alcoholism?

In certain cases, it might be difficult to tell if someone deals with alcoholism or if they just enjoy the occasional Friday evening beer. Here are the signs that tell you it is indeed alcoholism.

Their Social Life Involves Only Alcohol

If a person is dealing with alcoholism, they may not be able to go to a social function without involving alcohol. Actually, they will be excited to go to events/meetings where they know for sure alcohol is served.

They Drink All the Time

Morning, lunch, noon, work, or home – to an alcoholic, it doesn’t really matter what time or circumstance it is. If the opportunity comes for them to drink, they will drink. It is very rare to catch them sober.

Their Personalities Change When They Drink

A shy person might become very loud and gregarious. A closed-off person may become emotional. An otherwise easygoing person may turn violent. An alcoholic may experience a lot of these personality shifts when they’re under the influence.

They Can’t Quit

An alcoholic may set a limit, like “I’m only going to have two beers tonight.” However, they rarely stick to that limit – if ever. They’ll continue to drink even if they realize they’re feeling the effects.

They Have a High Tolerance

An alcoholic usually builds up a tolerance. Even after having a couple of cocktails, beers, or shots, they will still show barely any signs of drunkenness. This is because their bodies are already so used to the substance that it doesn’t affect them in small dosages. 

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How To Approach Someone About Their Alcoholism

When a person is aware of their alcoholism problem, they may be able to reach out by themselves. However, if they refuse to recognize the problem, it’s up to their loved ones to approach that person and try to help them. The task will indeed be difficult – especially if the person affected does not want to recognize that they have an addiction. However, it is still something that needs to be done.

When telling someone that they are dealing with alcoholism, you need to approach them with compassion and honesty. Be honest about what you’ve noticed around them – if there were changes in their health or if their lifestyle has begun to suffer because of it. At the same time, you need to be prepared for a negative reaction – especially if the person is in denial.

The Best Way to Explain Their Alcoholism

Explaining someone’s alcoholism may not be easy. You can still do it, provided you use the proper method. First things first, you need to pick the right moment to explain the situation. Talking to them when they’re drunk won’t help much, especially since there’s a good chance they’ll forget about it the next day. Consider their mood as well and other potential stressors but try talking to them as soon as possible.

Be honest and direct. Talk about the specifics that concern you, the things that changed in their life. For instance, if you are talking to your spouse and you have children, explain to them how their actions might affect the kids. Rather than talking about specific episodes, talk about the recurring problems. Unless the alcoholic is suffering from obvious symptoms, like dementia, it may cause some riffs. Nevertheless, stick to a plan and be honest and upfront about the effects they have had on your life.

Alcoholic man struggling with family

Treatment Options for An Alcoholic

When it comes to alcoholism, there are multiple treatment options that one may go through, depending on the stage of alcoholism. Still, it mostly boils down to the following two.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment occurs when the person is dealing with difficult alcohol addiction, one that requires detox. With this type of treatment, the patient will go through a medical detox within the institution, helping them through the process as the alcohol goes out of their system.

Outpatient Treatment

With outpatient treatment, the person will still have to show up for the appointment but will not have to be admitted into rehab. In most cases, they will need to show up to meetings, after which they may go home. Outpatient treatment often occurs after the inpatient type, to prevent a relapse. 

Allowing The Other Person To Get Better

To help the other person get over their alcoholism, there are certain things you may do. Support is usually what will help someone get over their alcoholism, and here is how you can offer yours.

  • Don’t Drink Around Them

Even if you may not have an alcohol problem, it’s inconsiderate to drink in front of someone who struggles with alcoholism. This will make them crave the alcohol, and it will also make them believe you weren’t serious enough about your desire to help them out.

  • Speak with Other People

Some people may have the information that you need. For example, a person who quit drinking may give you some tips on how they got past their addiction. In turn, you may use those tips to help your loved one get better.

  • Do Not Enable Them

When you enable someone, it gives them a window of opportunity to continue their use, thinking that they’ll get away with it again and again. Enabling them might mean getting them out of a bad situation or continuously making excuses for them.

Stop doing that, because they will repeat their behavior. At times, tough love is necessary, as it will keep them on the sober path for longer. Sure, they’ll be mad at you – but at least they’ll be sober.

How Real Deal Can Help

In most cases, recovery centers can give you the help that you need in order to resolve your loved one’s alcohol situation. Real Deal has the treatment options necessary within the center, helping people get through every step of their alcohol addiction.

Alcoholism shouldn’t be ignored, as it will negatively impact the life of your friend/family member. The sooner they can get support, the better. Contact Real Deal, and help your loved ones be sober once again.

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