What Can I Do?

When a loved one is struggling with alcoholism it’s hard to watch them continuously drink themselves away. It may feel like you are powerless to help them, but that is in fact not true. You have more power than you realize, and all it takes is you owning the power you truly have to make a difference in their life.

Assess your relationship and end any codependent behaviors. Codependency enables alcoholics, keeping them from facing the consequences of their actions. Attempt to gain independence from the alcoholic partner or loved one, even if it is difficult to do so. Your emotional attachment is doing more harm than good, as dependency makes people seek attention and approval if they feel they lack it.

Talk to the person struggling with alcoholism about the negative consequences of their habits. If they are never made aware of the impact they have on others, then they will continue to drink without a thought about how others feel. Talking to an alcoholic means keeping it simple and keeping it simple means discussing the latest event that occurred because of their drinking. For example, if your loved one said something that hurt you or someone else when they were drinking, the conversation should be centered around that event and why it was hurtful. Make the correlation that these situations often occur when they are drinking and stay completely honest throughout the talk.

Show support when they seek help. When an individual that suffers from alcoholism makes changes to stop drinking, encourage and support them. Do not brush off any efforts they make to stifle or get rid of their drinking habit. Offer to take them to treatment or group meetings or help them find a treatment program that is centered around their needs. Attend the treatment center of their choice during visiting hours so that they do not start to feel alone or abandoned.

Educate yourself about the effects of alcoholism. Do not just focus on what it has done to you, but what it has done to others and the individual with the drinking problem. Do research and talk to others about how alcoholism affects the individual’s life and what steps you can take to make the transition from addiction to sobriety smoother.

Helping an alcoholic is all about getting them into treatment because they cannot fight the battle by themselves. A strong support system is necessary if an individual wants to stop drinking, and it comes from friends, family, and treatment.

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