Thursday, May 23, 2024

How To Help Someone With Alcohol Addiction

How To Offer Support

How to Help Someone With a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

There are many ways someone can support a person with AUD. These include:

  • Do learn about AUD: The more someone learns about AUD, the more information they have to help someone with the condition.
  • Do participate in self-care: Looking after a loved one with AUD can be challenging. If someone is supporting a person with AUD, they should also make sure to take care of themselves.
  • Do participate in treatment with them: If the person with AUD agrees to treatment, they may find it supportive to have someone go with them.
  • Do not put blame on a person with AUD: A person with AUD cannot control their alcohol use, and for that reason, it is not fair to make them feel guilty.
  • Do not enable a person with AUD: While people may think they are being supportive, they may instead encourage drinking behavior by enabling a person with AUD to access alcohol.

Analyze Where You Are

Its coming down to the wire. If all previous attempts have failed, our number one solution will be the last ditch effort to getting your loved one off of drugs, and giving them the health and attention they need to recover. By taking a step back and looking at the last few weeks or months of events, youll be able to better determine if your efforts are proving useful or if you need to take one more stab at this.

Discouraging An Alcoholic From Drinking

Supporting the recovery of someone with an alcohol use disorder often includes ending any enabling of their addictive behavior and setting healthy boundaries for yourself.

While you may believe that making excuses for your loved one protects them in a way, to begin to help an alcoholic, it may be necessary to allow the consequences of their drinking behavior to come to light as you refrain from enabling their addiction.

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What Happens In An Alcohol Rehab Center

When your loved one enters an alcoholism treatment program, they may receive a number of treatments. Many rehab centers take a holistic approach to addiction treatment, crafting an individualized program based on your loved ones needs, symptoms, and co-occurring conditions.

Effective alcoholism treatment may include:

  • Medication to ease withdrawal symptoms
  • Support groups and group therapy
  • Individual therapies to develop healthier coping skills
  • Long-term sobriety and aftercare planning
  • Treatment for other mental health disorders

Support The Process Of Change

Quotes about Alcohol addiction (31 quotes)

If you have a friend or loved one with an addiction, let them know you are willing to support them, for example, by coming with them to family or couples counseling. You can even help them take the first stepwhether it’s bringing them to a doctor’s appointment or a support group meeting.

They’ll likely feel encouraged by the fact that you are making changes in your own life to help them with their addiction.

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Signs That Alcohol Has Caused Brain Damage

Can alcohol permanently damage your brain? Weve determined that the answer is yes. But what are some signs and symptoms that brain damage is a likelihood due to alcohol consumption? How do you know if a loved one has alcohol-related brain damage? Weve listed many symptoms below.

Its worth remembering that a person is unlikely to display all of the symptoms on this list. A persons particular combination of symptoms will depend upon which part of the brain has been damaged.

Open The Lines Of Communication

The person you are concerned about is never going to know youre concerned unless you voice that. This may be an uncomfortable conversation for you and the drinker, but it is a necessary one. You could call this an intervention, or simply a conversation. Interventions are typically more serious and have more concerned people in attendance, so it depends on the specifics of the situation. Whether an intervention or a conversation, the desired end result is the same: bring attention to a loved ones drinking, and hope they can understand where your concern is coming from. If they can, they are one step closer to recovery.

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How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last

If your loved one decides to seek treatment for their alcohol abuse, they may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms at the start of the recovery period. In fact, fear of withdrawal may be one of the foremost concerns you may have to help address in order to get them to accept help. Understanding withdrawal, how long it will last, and the best ways to get treatment can help you address this fear with your loved one.

Depending on an individuals level of alcohol dependence, acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin within hours of the last drink and last for days.11

These symptoms tend to vary in severity based on factors such as how much and how frequently a person drank and their overall physical health. Certain alcohol withdrawal symptoms may be relatively mild, such as:12,13

  • Headache.
  • Mild anxiety.
  • Stomach upset.

On the other hand those with severe alcohol dependence may also experience more severe symptoms shortly after they stop drinking, including:10

  • Confusion.
  • Alcohol withdrawal delirium .

Due to the risk of severe or complicated alcohol withdrawal in some individuals, it may be necessary for those seeking recovery to be evaluated by a mental health professional. Next, they may need to be closely monitored by a team of medical professionals at a medical detox and alcohol withdrawal management program.

Does Addiction Counseling Work

How to Help Someone With Drug or Alcohol Addiction

To those wondering if alcohol counseling works, it does. Many rehabs and recovery centers incorporate counseling into their treatment plans. What counseling does is help people in recovery identify the main causes of their drinking problems. This, in turn, helps them fight off the cravings and the triggers that lead to relapse. Not only does counseling help people overcome alcoholism, but it also helps mend broken relationships and improve ones physical health.

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Recognizing The Signs Of A Problem

For many people, drinking is an ordinary part of life. In most places, its legal and socially acceptable for an adult to enjoy an alcoholic drink. But since alcohols effects vary so much from one person to another, its not always easy to tell when a loved ones alcohol intake has crossed the line from responsible, social drinking to alcohol abuse. Theres no specific amount that indicates someone has an alcohol use disorder. Rather, its defined by how drinking affects your loved ones life.

In these difficult times of the global pandemic, economic uncertainty, and high unemployment, many people are drinking more than they used to in an attempt to relieve stress. While its easy to understand, that doesnt make it less of a concern. Consuming alcohol to cope with stress, deal with difficulties, or to avoid feeling bad, may be a sign that your loved ones drinking has become a problem.

Your loved one may also have a drinking problem if they:

  • Regularly neglect their responsibilities at home, work, or school because theyre drinking or recovering from drinking.
  • Often binge drink or drink more than they intended to.
  • Lie about or try to cover up how much theyre drinking.
  • Black out or cant remember what they said or did when using alcohol.
  • Continue drinking even when its causing problems in their relationships with you and others.
  • Use alcohol to self-medicate a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.

More Information On Getting Addiction Treatment:

If you would like more help and information on addiction treatment, you can contact us here.

For more information about the admissions process, or treatment at Smarmore Castle alcohol and drugs rehab centre, please :

Youre welcome to call our team anytime 24-Hours a day

  • From the Republic of Ireland, please call us on: 041 214 5111
  • For international enquiries, please call: +353 41 214 5111

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Approach And Listen With Honesty And Compassion

If the person does have an alcohol problem, the best thing you can do is be open and honest with them about it. Hoping the person will get better on their own wont change the situation.

Tell your loved one that youre worried theyre drinking too much, and let them know you want to be supportive. Be prepared to face a negative reaction. Try to roll with any resistance to your suggestions. The person may be in denial, and they may even react angrily to your attempts. Do not take it personally. Give them time and space to make an honest decision, and listen to what they have to say.

What To Avoid When Talking To A Loved One About Addiction

How to help someone with alcohol addiction

When talking to a loved one about getting treatment for their addiction, here are some things to avoid:

  • Preaching, lecturing, threatening or moralizing your loved one
  • Emotional appeals that may increase the feelings of guilt and the compulsion to use drugs
  • Lying or making excuses for their behavior
  • Taking over their responsibilities doing this protects them from the consequences of their behavior
  • Enabling their behavior by covering up the abuse or giving them money for drugs
  • Arguing with your loved one when theyre using drugs during this time, your loved one wont be able to hold a rational conversation and likely wont be open to what you have to say
  • Feeling guilty or responsible for their behavior its not your fault

If you feel that your loved one is abusing drugs, the best thing you can do is to encourage them to seek treatment for their addiction. Be loving and supportive, but also know that theyre likely going to make excuses for their behavior. Be firm in what you want, and keep encouraging them to get help. Although this isnt easy to do, its a critical first step in helping them achieve a healthy and happy life in recovery.

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Dont Offer An Ultimatum

More often than not, someone with a drinking problem will choose alcohol over any other option they are given, resulting in more stress, frustration and pain. Instead of offering ultimatums, offer advice or options for help. This means doing your research ahead of time and knowing some good programs to refer a loved one to, or being familiar with a professional they can talk to for help.

Finding Help For Alcohol Addiction

When a loved one is struggling with AUD, its tough on them and you. It can be hard to know where to turn for help, particularly if your loved one is reluctant to help themselves. If youre worried about alcohol-related brain damage, the stress of the situation can reach intolerable levels.

This article has great ideas for managing communication and offering support to someone with alcohol addiction.

But getting your loved one into a treatment program is the best way to ensure recovery from AUD and any associated brain damage.

The team of addiction specialists at AspenRidge have helped many people just like you. We understand the importance of a whole family approach to AUD recovery. And were available 24/7 to discuss both your worries and the range of programs on offer at AspenRidge. Call us on to find out more.

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Stages Of Alcoholism: The Functioning Alcoholic

  • Early stage: You regularly drink too much, but you havenât suffered many consequences. This is when itâs easiest to make a change. But it is also when denial is highest.
  • Middle stage: This is the classic functioning alcoholic. You still have a job, but your relationships are beginning to suffer.
  • Late stage: Drinking is affecting your job. You have had legal problems, financial problems, or medical problems due to your drinking. This is what people think alcoholism is like, but this is the end of the line.

Alcoholism is progressive. The consequences get worse over time. It’s never easy to quit. But if you have already suffered some consequences, there’s never a better time to quit than now.

Resources Available For Loved Ones

How To Assist Someone With Alcohol Addiction

While its ideal for your loved one to decide on their own to enter treatment, sometimes they need help in making the decision to take the first step. Family members can be a major influence toward nudging a loved one into treatment. It may take multiple attempts, but consistent encouragement and repeated discussions about treatment may pay off eventually.

In the meantime, there are resources you can utilize to help you cope with your loved ones addiction. These include:

  • Al-anon: This resource helps loved ones and family members of alcoholics share their experiences, offer support to each other, and find hope for the future.
  • Ala-Teen: This support resource for younger family members and loved ones of alcoholics is a part of the larger Al-Anon family groups.
  • Co-Dependents Anonymous: This 12-step group helps members achieve healthy and loving relationships.

Remember: prioritizing your mental and physical health is essential for healing from addiction.

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Effective Ways To Provide Support

Theres no exact formula telling you how to support someone recovering from an AUD. Every person is different therefore, the recovery process is unique for each individual. For instance, some people may rely heavily on their support system and want to involve them in each step during treatment. Others are more reserved and may only come to you when they need a listening ear or want to talk.

Here are the most common ways that family and friends can take part in a loved ones recovery:

Attend Support Group Meetings

Alcoholism affects those closest to the individual, including family members and friends. This can damage relationships and lead to a wide range of emotions like disappointment, anger, doubt and denial.

Support groups like Al-Anon and Alcoholics Anonymous can educate you about your loved ones condition and empower you to stay strong. Alcoholics Anonymous is a 12-step program that is often recommended during and after rehab. It encourages alcoholics to get and remain sober. AA meetings are generally open, which means you can attend with your loved one. Al-Anon is a program designed for the family members and friends of those struggling with an AUD. These meetings offer a great deal of support and advice on living with someone who has a drinking problem.

Understand That the Recovery Process Takes Work

Show Support Without Enabling

Stop Blaming Yourself

Taking Action

Seek Help From Healthcare Professionals

If your efforts to help convince someone of their need for rehabilitation services arent enough, it still isnt time to give up on getting the individual to enter treatment. If you know of anyone else in the alcoholics life that has the kind of influence that may help, you should ask for that help. It can take a few discussions to get an alcoholic to see that the problem is serious and widespread.

When all else fails, approach a healthcare professional, such as a counselor or therapist, for advice. Someone with expertise in the treatment of an AUD may be able to help you approach a friend or loved one in need in a more effective manner, or may aid in your efforts to encourage treatment for them.10

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Putting Off Getting Help

After years of covering up for the alcoholic and not talking about “the problem” outside the family, it may seem daunting to reach out for help from a support group, such as Al-Anon Family Groups.

But millions have found solutions that lead to serenity inside those meetings. Going to an Al-Anon meeting is one of those things that once you do it, you say, “I should have done this years ago.”

Take Our Substance Abuse Self

How To Help Someone With Alcohol Abuse

Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.

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Stage #: Problem Drinking

Frequent, uncontrolled alcohol abuse eventually leads to problem drinking. While any form of alcohol abuse is problematic, the term problem drinker refers to someone who starts experiencing the impacts of their habit.

You may become more depressed, more anxious, or start losing sleep. You may start to feel sick from heavy drinking, but enjoy its effects too much to care. Many drinkers at this stage are more likely to drink and drive or experience legal troubles as a result of their drinking.

There are also specific social changes related to problem drinking. These include:

  • relationship issues
  • sudden change in friends

Signs Of An Alcohol Problem

Alcohol use disorder is a medical condition that doctors diagnose when a patients drinking causes distress or harm. The condition can range from mild to severe and is diagnosed when a patient answers yes to two or more of the following questions.

In the past year, have you:

If you have any of these symptoms, your drinking may already be a cause for concern. The more symptoms you have, the more urgent the need for change. A health professional can conduct a formal assessment of your symptoms to see if AUD is present. For an online assessment of your drinking pattern, go to

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The Dos And Donts Of Dealing With An Alcoholic Partner

If you are living with an alcoholic partner, you have probably faced a lot of challenges and experienced many different emotions. Right now, you may be exhausted from having to pick up more of the responsibilities, terrified about the health and future of everyone in your household, as well as sad and angry about the situation that you are currently living in.

Dealing within an alcoholic partner can have a massive impact on a persons life. Within this blog, we will look at the dos and donts of living with someone addicted to alcohol. We have also put together the dos and donts of talking to the person about their drinking, which you can use if and when you are ready to have this conversation.

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