Watching your coworker, friend or loved one is an alcoholic it can be one of the toughest things you may ever have to deal with. You might think about all the things you can do to get them into a better situation, even if they don’t want your help right now.
It is important to understand the meaning of alcoholism – it is when someone has a psychological and physical dependence on alcohol. They might have difficulty controlling when or how much they drink and keep abusing alcohol despite the negative consequences it has on their life.
Alcohol addictions range between mild and severe. However, it is crucial to note that even mild cases should not be ignored. They can turn severe very quickly. Early interventions and treatments are always a good option.
With this being said, while it is entirely up to your friend, coworker or loved one to get help for their alcohol use disorder, there are some things you can do to help them in the meantime or after they choose to get alcohol addiction treatment.
Approaching a Person Who Has an Alcohol Addiction
One of the first things you may need to do in order to help an alcoholic is to approach them. However, there are some specific tips you can use to ensure that you are approaching them with the right perspective and attitude. Some of these tips include:
- Learning about their alcohol addiction – it would be helpful to learn about why someone might abuse alcohol, what coping skills they may lack, the symptoms of alcoholism, support groups for an alcoholic, and which treatments are available for alcoholism
- Work on what you will say to them – it is important to let the person know you are available to help them, you care about them by using “I” statements, avoiding judgment, and ensure you are coming from a place of concern not hurtful statements
- Choosing the right place and time – it is critical to have this conversation in a private and quiet place, you want as few interruptions as possible, be sure the person isn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol (or at least not drunk or too high)
- Approaching and listening with compassion and honesty – it is important that you are honest and open with them regarding your thoughts and feelings, while making suggestions, but still be able to have some compassion for your coworker, friend, or loved one
- Offering the most support you can without enabling – remember, you won’t likely won’t be able to force this person into a treatment program, but if you are there to help and support them, they may be more likely to agree to go into an alcohol addiction rehab
- Intervention – there are some cases where you can talk to an alcoholic and they will admit they need help, however, there are other cases when you might need to hold an intervention to get your coworker, friend, or loved one to see that there are people who care about them and want to see them get the help they need.
There are so many different techniques and actions you can use to approach an alcoholic. However, if you can start by using the steps and tips that are noted here today, that should be a good start in showing your loved one, friend or coworker that you just want what is best for them and their life.
Best Ways to Support an Alcoholic Through Their Recovery Journey
It is important to remember and know that recovery from an alcohol addiction (or any addiction for that matter) is a lifelong journey. It is ongoing and can unfold in many different ways. If you stop supporting your loved one, friend or coworker after they start their time in a treatment program, they are much more likely to relapse.
With this being said, there are numerous ways that you can support an alcoholic through their recovery journey. Some of the things that you can do include:
- Offering to help out with tasks around their house
- Offering to watch their children
- Helping out while they go to work or are in treatment
- Standing by them during their good and bad times in recovery
- Don’t drink or use drugs around your friend, loved one, or coworker
- Let them talk about what they learned while they were in treatment
- Stay invested in helping them throughout their recovery in various ways
If you can do these things, you will be a great member of your loved one, friend or coworker’s support system.
Things Not to Do When Helping an Alcoholic Who is in Recovery
There are a few things that you shouldn’t do during your friend, loved one or coworker’s recovery journey, as well. Some of these things include:
- Don’t take over the responsibilities they are supposed to have
- Avoid drinking or talking about drinking around them even at events or holidays
- Don’t offer or give financial support unless you are sending that money directly to their treatment program or to a bill that you know they are working hard to pay, but just can’t afford
- Don’t boss them around about what is best for their life or what they should be doing
Keep in mind that overcoming an alcohol addiction is not easy. Sometimes, an alcoholic in recovery may relapse. Even during these times, it is important that you don’t withdraw your support for your loved one, friend or coworker. They need to know that they have people on their side and that you are going to be patient with them.
Be Sure to Help Yourself, Too
If you want to be helpful to your friend, coworker or loved one during their recovery, you must take care of and help yourself, as well. It can be an emotional rollercoaster dealing with an alcoholic, even if they are in recovery. You may experience depression, stress, anxiety and a range of other feelings regarding their addiction and recovery. Some of the tips that can help you to take care of yourself include:
- Attend meetings such as the Al-Anon program (for family members and other loved ones of addicts)
- Work on your codependency issues (you may need to work with a therapist or other professional to stop being so stuck on your loved one’s well-being and their life)
- Take time out each day or at least multiple times a week for yourself
Remember, you can be there for the alcoholic in your life. Just keep in mind that you must be taking care of yourself, too. You are just as important as them, even if you aren’t the one who is dealing directly with the addiction.
Get Help for an Alcoholic and for Yourself Starting Today
Do you know an alcoholic or someone who is in recovery from an alcohol addiction? If so, there are numerous ways that you can start helping them to live or continue a life of recovery. The tips and guidance above are all great ways to start doing this.
If your loved one, friend or coworker is ready to get into a treatment program, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Palm Beach Interventions to help this alcoholic today.