Helping a loved one isn’t easy. It’s especially difficult if your loved one is an alcoholic. You probably feel like you don’t know what to do.
That’s perfectly normal. Friends and family members of alcoholics are often overwhelmed by the situation. This is because they don’t know how to help.
Here are five ways to help an alcoholic.
- Addressing the Problem
Acknowledging there is a problem is the first step.
Most alcoholics refuse to admit that something is wrong.
Some alcoholics don’t even realize that they are drinking too much. Most know that it’s a problem but won’t admit it.
You probably need to address the problem.
This isn’t an easy conversation to have. But it’s a necessary one.
You will thank yourself later for bringing up the issue.
Your loved one will thank you, too.
Come up with a plan for addressing the problem. You might need to stage an intervention. Talk to other friends and family.
See if they think there is a problem.
There is power in numbers. Your loved one is more likely to respond to more people. They might not believe you on their own.
Be prepared for the fact that this conversation might not go as planned.
It’s best to approach the conversation with treatment options.
- Going to Rehab
Rehab is the best option for an alcoholic.
Patients who go to rehab are far more likely to recover and stay sober.
There are different types of rehab centers.
Come up with a list of facilities in your area. Or, if you think it’s better, find someplace out of the way.
Creating options makes your loved one feel empowered.
Let them play a part in their own treatment.
Some rehab centers allow visitors. Others do not.
Ask what your loved one prefers.
Keep in mind that rehab is expensive. Not all centers will accept insurance.
Rehab might be expensive in the beginning, but it’s cheaper than a life under addiction. And it will improve everyone’s quality of life.
Alcoholics need to go through a detox.
This is not an easy process. The first few days of recovery are the most important. They are also the most difficult.
It’s best to detox under medical supervision.
Detoxing improperly can lead to serious health issues and even death.
Alcoholics should never treat themselves.
- Following Up
It’s important to stay involved during recovery.
You might not be able to talk during the rehab. But you can talk to your loved one afterward. One conversation won’t fix everything.
Set aside time to talk about the addiction.
Write it down in your calendar. In the beginning, you might have to talk about it every day. As time goes on, the conversations will become less frequent.
Be prepared that your loved one might relapse.
Staying in touch and talking through the issues prevents this from happening.
However, nothing in life is a guarantee.
You can’t control other people.
- Creating a Routine
Stability is essential for recovery.
Alcoholics feel like they don’t have control over their lives.
Establishing a regular routine establishes rhythm and control. Routines take on many different forms.
Self-care should be at the center of the routine.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. Supporting an alcoholic isn’t easy.
If you aren’t healthy, you can’t help other people.
Create routines for the morning and the evening. Do the same thing when you wake up every day. Wash your face or brew a cup of coffee.
Before you go to bed, relax as much as you can.
Sleep is undervalued.
- Staying Positive
It’s tough to look on the bright side.
You need to stay positive for your loved one.
Alcohol is a depressant. They will likely be down and negative.
Remind them that recovery is in reach.
No one should be defined by their disease.
Create rewards for both yourself and loved ones.
You deserve to treat yourself every once in a while. Go on that vacation you’ve always dreamed of.
Lots of recovering alcoholics stay sober the rest of their lives.
You should stay hopeful.
Helping an alcoholic is a tough task, but it is an honorable one. Your loved one is lucky to have you.