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How to Help an Alcoholic?

Do you have a family member or a friend who is unable to control their drinking? Are you looking for ways to help them? Here are the steps you can take to help the alcoholic in your life.

1. Learn about the disease of alcoholism

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, classifies alcoholism as a substance use disorder. Learn more about alcoholism from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The better educated you are about what your loved one is dealing with, the more likely you will understand how to best help them.

2. Gather resources that can help

As you prepare to talk to them, get a list of resource that can help alcoholics. These include treatment centers that specialize in treating people with substance use disorders, local detox centers, and Alcoholics Anonymous. Learn about the types of addiction treatment that are available.

3. Offer help for their alcoholism

Try to connect with them, so they open up to you. To succeed at this, you have to be brave and confront them, but do so with compassion. Try to talk to them when they are sober. During the conversation, demonstrate that they can trust you by choosing your words carefully. Avoid blaming them for the hurt they have caused and the things they have lost. Choose your words carefully. Don’t take the blame for their actions. Instead, let them understand the consequences of their actions.


4. Don’t give them money

Alcoholism is not a cheap lifestyle; it requires funding. Providing access to money encourages addiction. Sometimes, alcoholics try to pull tricks on you to give them money, so be alert.

Also, you should never go drinking with them. You will only be encouraging the habit and allowing them to think that there is no problem with alcoholism. Be creative and find other fun activities that may distract them from indulging in alcohol.

5. You may need to stage an intervention

If they don’t see a problem or accept help, it may be time to hold an intervention. Look for intervention help from other family and friends, and consider getting a professional therapist involved. Over the course of the intervention meeting, everyone’s concerns are discussed, and then the professional gives guidance on the next steps to be taken to solve the problem. The meeting should take place in a neutral location, to make it easy for the addict to express their feelings. As the main host, you should prepare a list of what you will talk about. Mayo Clinic has advice on how to stage an intervention.

Help your loved one get treatment for alcoholism

Cornerstone Healing Center is an evidence-based, long-term recovery treatment center in Scottsdale, Arizona. Contact us today to see how we can help your loved one get the help they need. And don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. Al-Anon helps the loved ones of alcoholics, and they can help you, too.

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