How To Help An Alcoholic Get Sober
Alcoholism is a condition that can significantly impact a person’s life. The issue with alcohol addiction is that the person in question may not realize that they have a problem. So, if someone you care about is struggling with alcoholism, you may want to help them get through this time of their life.
Determining If Its Alcoholism
Being a casual drinker and being an alcoholic are two different things. Here are some signs that tell you someone close to you is struggling with alcoholism.
They Drink Too Often
A person dealing with alcoholism will drink quite often and will always find an excuse for drinking. Whether it’s midday or the evening, they often drink at times when they shouldn’t. After long or bad days, they also count the seconds until they can get their hands on a drink.
They Get Defensive
Someone suffering from alcoholism will always be defensive if someone says they might have a drinking problem. If someone advises them to cut down their consumption, they might easily get angry. “I don’t have a problem! I can quit whenever I want,” is what they’d say. Still, they never know how to sober up.
Their Personal Lives Are Affected
Someone dealing with alcoholism might suffer consequences from their drinking problems. They might lose jobs, get DUIs, or lose relationships in the process. With that in mind, they will also try to blame anyone else but themselves: the boss was overbearing, the cops were zealous, or their friends never cared about them anyway.
They Have a High Tolerance
A person with alcoholism might not be able to get the same “brain reward” as they did when they started drinking. As a result, they’ll have to drink more to get the same effect.
They Can’t Stop or Say No to Alcohol
An alcoholic in denial might set out with a limit in mind – for example, drinking three beers at most. However, when the opportunity for more alcohol comes up, they are never able to say no. They will keep drinking, even if they become obviously affected.
Trying to approach an alcoholic is challenging, especially if they are still in denial about their condition. The first thing that you’ll want to do is learn as much about the disorder as possible. Try to figure out if they are indeed dealing with alcoholism, and if so, find the right moment to talk to them about it.
Talking to them while they are drunk won’t get you anywhere; try to catch a moment when they are sober. When you do, approach them with compassion and honesty. Beating around the bush won’t help. You need to show them that you are there to offer them support, not judge them.
Safest Methods of Conversation
When talking with an alcoholic, you need to be very careful about the way you handle the conversation. If you’re too soft, they won’t take you seriously. If you are too harsh on them, they’ll get defensive and close off to you. Here is how you should strike a conversation with them.
- Plan Your Conversation
Coming up with conversation ideas beforehand might seem too much, but it will actually help. You’ll be able to gather your facts while preventing yourself from getting too emotional or saying something you might regret later.
When talking with an alcoholic, you might want to use examples in order to explain a problem. If the person can see the consequences of their drinking, they may be able to admit there’s a problem. Also, rather than mentioning isolated examples, go for the ones that have occurred often before.
- Take a Compassionate Yet Honest Stand
An alcoholic may grow defensive and angry if they feel like you are passing shame and judgment. Lowering their self-esteem is the last thing you want to do because they’ll try to cope with it in the only way that they know: drinking. This is why you must show compassion and understanding while being honest with them.
Treatment Options for An Alcoholic
There are various treatment options when it comes to dealing with alcoholism. With that in mind, two categories are frequently used depending on the stage and severity of the condition.
Inpatient treatment involves the person checking themselves into the rehab center full time. This is often recommended when the person cannot cut their alcohol consumption at home. It is also a good route in cases of severe alcoholism, where medical detox is recommended.
Outpatient treatment is used in two cases: when alcoholism is still in a home-manageable stage, or after getting out of rehab. It is a method of correcting the behavior and preventing a potential relapse. Patients must go to meetings or see the doctor, but they will be able to go back to their homes at the end of the day.
Helping The Other Person Help Themselves
When a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, you’ll need to help them help themselves. Here are a few things that you may do for them so that they do not spiral back into a relapse.
- Don’t drink around them. You may be ok with alcohol, but all it will do is increase their cravings.
- Don’t enable their behavior by finding excuses or getting them out of a tough spot. They will keep doing it because they believe they’ll get away with it.
- Don’t give ultimatums. In many cases, all this will do is cause your efforts to backfire and send your loved ones into a defensive.
- Try to speak with people who know more about dealing with alcoholism. For example, gaining insight on the matter from recovering alcoholics may help you help them.
Regardless of the circumstances, you need to be supportive. Show them that you are there for them throughout their journey and that you are proud of every achievement they make.
Why We Can Help
Recovering from alcohol addiction can be challenging. That’s why Real Deal has all the treatment options necessary to ensure the patient recovers as comfortably as possible. Whether your loved ones need inpatient or outpatient therapy, the Real Deal professionals can offer their support.
Alcoholism can affect not only the patient’s life but also the life of those around them. So, if you or a loved one has a problem with alcoholism, reach out to us so that we can offer our help!