Loving Someone with an Addiction: What You Can Do to Help
In order to truly help your friend, partner, or family member, you need to voice your concerns with honesty and empathy. A third theme Sperandio et al. found in their research involved the ways in which individuals outside the partnership impacted the experience of loving a partner with a substance use disorder. Participants reported that their wellness was improved through outside social support, including family and friends. They cited the importance of the Al‐Anon community within the alcoholism arena, for example, to helping find comfort in the empathy expressed by others who had similar experiences. Behavioral treatments include individual, group, and family therapy sessions.
You can also participate in a program that’s designed for the friends and family members of alcoholics, such as Al-Anon. Many people with alcohol problems and their family members find that participating in support groups is an essential part of coping with the disease, preventing or dealing with relapses, and staying sober. Your health care provider or counselor can suggest a support group. Alcohol abuse and addiction doesn’t just affect the person drinking—it affects their families and loved ones, too. Watching a family member struggle with a drinking problem can be as heartbreakingly painful as it is frustrating. But while you can’t do the hard work of overcoming addiction for your loved one, your love and support can play a crucial part in their long-term recovery.
Starting the Process
It’s common for people to require treatment more than once to finally achieve sobriety. That means you’ll need plenty of patience when supporting your loved one’s recovery. Attending a 12-step program or other support group is one of the most common treatment options for alcohol abuse and addiction. AA meetings and similar groups allow your loved one to spend time with others facing the https://ecosoberhouse.com/ same problems. As well as reducing their sense of isolation, your loved one can receive advice on staying sober and unburden themselves to others who understand their struggles firsthand. Studies suggest that the social connection provided by these groups can help your loved one build confidence in their own ability to avoid alcohol in social situations and support their sobriety.
You could begin counseling or therapy with a mental health professional to discuss and process your feelings. Or, you might consider joining a support group for loved ones of people with alcohol use disorder, such as Al-Anon or SMART Recovery for Friends and Family. In most places, it’s legal and socially acceptable for an adult to enjoy an alcoholic drink. But since alcohol’s effects vary so much from one person to another, it’s not always easy to tell when a loved one’s alcohol intake has crossed the line from responsible, social drinking to alcohol abuse. There’s no specific amount that indicates someone has an alcohol use disorder.
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While some research suggests that small amounts of alcohol may have beneficial cardiovascular effects, there is widespread agreement that heavier drinking can lead to health problems. Understand that recovery is a journey and not necessarily a one-time goal. Even if your loved one doesn’t become violent from AUD, they can still present security dangers to the household. They may no longer perform the roles they once did, and they can disrupt family dynamics. When someone with AUD lives in your household, the rest of your family members can be at risk for negative effects. Some of the most common risks are the damage to your emotional and mental well-being.
Worthington noted that he would have his first drink in the morning. “Nine out of 10 people couldn’t tell. They could probably smell it on me, but when they looked at me, they couldn’t tell,” he said. “I was still doing my job — I just don’t think I was doing it very well.” “I feel really, really good, and support from the fans and everything has been really, really good. Several of Hollywood’s biggest stars have been candid about their sobriety journeys over the years.
Step 3: Have Treatment Options Ready.
Learn how many people ages 12 to 20 engage in underage alcohol misuse in the United States and the impact it has. Worrying and stressing about your loved one can take a toll on your mind and body, so find ways to relieve the pressure. Eating right, exercising regularly, and sleeping well can all help to keep stress in check.
At the end of the day, one of the most important tools you have at your disposal is self-compassion. Instead of criticizing yourself for having a hard time or slipping up and having a drink, remember that no one’s perfect. What matters most is your ability to maintain an open, curious outlook as you learn what does and doesn’t work for you.
Your loved one will feel more prepared to begin the recovery process when they have a support system rooting for their success. You can recommend different treatment programs and help them explore their options, but only your addicted loved one can make the decision to go to rehab. By posing the above question to them, you are acknowledging that they are capable of reclaiming their life, but you will still be there for them in their time of need. By asking your loved one for their feedback, you avoid passing judgment and instead show them that you respect their choices. During this conversation, you should voice your concerns by showing your loved one how their alcoholism has impacted others. However, simply telling them you’re worried about their alcohol consumption may not produce real change.
They may binge drink once or drink for a period of time before getting sober again. It’s important that the person get back on track and resume treatment. Alcohol addiction may involve several different treatment methods. It’s important that each person get involved in a recovery program struggling with alcohol addiction that will support long-term sobriety. This could mean an emphasis on therapy for someone who is depressed, or inpatient treatment for someone with severe withdrawal symptoms. When your loved one drinks or is experiencing withdrawal symptoms, their mood can become unpredictable.
Tips for talking to someone about their drinking: Things that can HELP
If your loved one claims that they don’t know how you can help them, they may still be in denial about their alcoholism. Don’t force the issue if you’ve already approached the issue several times. Hopefully, they will be open to change after some time has passed, or after multiple people have commented on their drinking. These resources can also help you learn and remember the importance of setting healthy boundaries when dealing with someone with an AUD.
- It also provides coping skills to prevent relapse and promote a healthy relationship.
- “If I enjoy my drinking, I can’t control it and if I control my drinking, I don’t enjoy it. That was a real wake-up call for me.”
- You do not have to put up with unacceptable behavior in your life.
- There are many treatment options available for people misusing alcohol.
To deal with the pressures of academia, many of us turn to these drugs. I take another look at the computer screen, at the bad writing I already have, and my mind drifts to the Food Lion across the street. At the grocery store, I turn right and head straight to the chilly-beer aisle, eyes scanning the 12-packs behind the clear glass.