If you know somebody that’s fallen into the clutches of alcohol abuse, you may be looking for guidance on how to help an alcoholic. Here’s valuable information.
If you have 8 people in a room, odds are that one of them is an alcoholic. That number might be jarring to read but it’s absolutely true and a number that’s getting larger every year.
As a matter of fact, the number of alcoholics has swelled so much in the United States that we’re willing to bet that you know somebody that’s currently struggling with addiction. Perhaps, that person is somebody close to you like a partner or a child.
The natural thing to do when you know somebody that’s drinking too much is to wonder how to help an alcoholic.
While there is no magic-bullet way to get an addict’s life back on track, there are simple tips that you can leverage in order to nudge them towards getting the help they need.
Start Asking Questions
If you suspect that alcoholism is a growing problem in somebody that you love, start respectfully probing.
For example, if the person in question asks you to go drinking with them, remind them that they’ve been out drinking the past few nights and that you two should pick another activity. If they refuse, ask them why.
Subtly letting alcoholics know that people are catching onto their patterns is a good first flag to raise.
Pick Your Words Carefully
When you’re prepared to outright comfort somebody that you suspect of alcoholism, it’s important to pick your words carefully.
Yelling, shaming and insulating is not how to help an alcoholic. Being honest and trying to get sufferers to feel safe enough to open up is.
A little bit of planning goes a long way when it comes to saying the right things. Work with another concerned friend to practice some scenarios.
Set Clear Boundaries
After your loved one’s habits are out in the open, hopefully, they’ll start working towards curbing their behavior. If they don’t, set boundaries immediately.
Simple boundaries like no drinking in the house, no transporting young people, and not coming home after a certain hour are all good places to start.
You need to be prepared to defend your boundaries.
If your adult child is an alcoholic and they try to drink in the house, kick them out. If your spouse is an alcoholic and they insist on drinking and then taking your kids out, be prepared to call the police and have a place to go with your children to get away from further threat.
Never Shield Alcoholics From Consequences
If the alcoholic that you know is pulled over for a DUI and sent to jail, don’t rush to bail them out. If they show up drunk at work and get fired, don’t try to cover for them to help get their job back.
The best how to help an alcoholic mantra that you can keep in the back of your head is that without consequences, there is no change. Interpret the consequences that your loved one faces as something that’ll move them towards recovery faster.
Don’t Give Away Money
Assume that every dollar you give an alcoholic is going to fuel their addiction, even if they say otherwise.
We can’t tell you how many people have been duped by alcoholics who claimed that they needed money for groceries or gas, only to find that money was being spent on beer and liquor. This, of course, isn’t your loved one’s fault.
Addiction is powerful and will work over sufferers in every way possible to get its way.
So, no matter how much your loved one accuses you of not trusting them, don’t budge. If they need something, go out and buy them that thing without ever handing over cash or a credit card.
Remove Alcohol From The House
If the alcoholic that you’re concerned about lives with you, one of the simplest ways that you can help them is to remove alcohol from the house.
We understand what a nuisance this tip might be. After all, why should you, a responsible drinker, not be able to enjoy a glass of wine a few times a week because somebody else can’t control themselves?
At the end of the day, life isn’t as fair as we’d like it to be. If you want to help your loved one more than you want to make your life more convenient, these are sacrifices you need to be ready to make.
Always Make Clear That Treatment Is the Goal
No amount of self-regulation can replace the value that alcohol rehab can bring about. Therefore, your end goal should always be to get your loved one into a good program.
If your loved one refuses help and continues on their descriptive path, be prepared to give them an ultimatum and if they choose wrong, be prepared to walk away.
Sometimes, the best way to help someone is to stop allowing them to poison your life. Without people to affect, addiction can get awfully lonely.
Wrapping Up Our Tips on How to Help an Alcoholic
Alcoholism is hard for both you and the direct sufferer. To give you both the best chance of living your fullest lives, consider running with the how to help alcoholic tips that we’ve just laid out.
While every situation is unique, we think that you stand a great chance of improving your loved one’s situation by taking our advice.
Have more health-related questions? If you do, know that we’re always here to help.
Read more of our alcoholism-related content on The Healthcare Guys today!