Having a family member addicted to alcohol is probably one of the worst possible things that can happen in your life. Parents dream that their child will grow up and live a healthy and happy life, but they never expect that one day their child will become addicted to alcohol. Luckily, in most cases, addiction can be treated successfully.
Here are some suggestions to help you deal with the devastating situation:
1. Alcohol Addiction Isn’t Just About The Drinking
Many people think that alcohol addiction is just an “enjoying the actual drinking too much” problem. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most people do not abuse alcohol just to get high. They are excessively drinking because they have an underlying unresolved issue, and they are turning to drink to help them dull the pain. If you want to help them deal with their addiction, then you should first help them cope with whatever problem they are trying to avoid by using alcohol.
2. Alcohol Addiction Recovery Isn’t a One Size Fits All Solution
You need to realize that solving addiction is a very personal affair. Some addicts may completely quit using when they see how much their family cares about them, and others might need time to deal with their pain before they stop drinking. If you try to apply the same remedy for every alcoholic, then you are setting them up for failure.
For example, some alcoholics might do best with their recovery if they live full-time in a residential treatment facility. This type of program lets them get away from the stress of school, work, and the pressures of family and friends. It is a great option because it helps addicts avoid the emotional triggers that would make them start using again.
Alternatively, other alcohol addicts could see best results if they choose to utilize outpatient treatment. This type of addiction treatment allows the patient to maintain their life responsibilities. Their treatment is scheduled around work and school, so they won’t be required to stay at a facility during the night.
3. Don’t Enable Your Loved One’s Addiction
Alcohol addicts make up every excuse imaginable to get money to fuel their addiction. For example, they will tell you that their rent is due, or they will say that they need to buy diapers. If they become truly desperate, then they might even claim that they have no money for food.
All of this could be true; however, you should always be on guard against false excuses because they most likely want the money to purchase more alcohol. Don’t ever give them money! If they need money to buy things, then go to the store and buy it for them. If you hand them the money, then they will take a detour to the nearest liquor store.
4. Give Them The Support They Need
Many families think that getting their loved one into a treatment facility is all that needs to be done. After they are enrolled, the professionals will take over and provide all the care from there. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Seeking professional help is just the beginning. Afterwards is when your real contribution begins. You will need to attend counselling sessions with them during their treatment. Also, you might need to stay with them to help with their recovery. Additionally, you will need to drive them to hospital appointments and alcohol addiction recovery group support meetings.
5. Avoid Drinking Triggers
There are many things that can cause an alcohol addict to start drinking again. It is important to eliminate alcoholic relapse triggers from their environment. Surprisingly, something simple as using a prescription drug can cause a relapse; therefore, make sure that when you seek medical treatment you inform their doctor about their alcohol problem. Another trigger is hanging out with friends who they previously abused alcohol with. If their old friends are still drinking irresponsibly, then there is a good chance it could cause them to relapse.
6. Never Give Up
This tip is obvious, but so many people who are trying to help their loved ones overlook it. They often see recovery from alcoholism as a short-term game that must be won quickly, but this simply isn’t true. Instead, it is steady progress that is achieved over the long-term through an accumulation of many small victories. When pitfalls happen, you should never see them as defeat; instead, you need to accept them as challenges to be overcome.
In summary, it will take a lot of hard work on your part to help your loved one to escape their drinking addiction and start living a normal life again. It’s been proven many times before that you can get your loved one back from the disastrous effects of alcohol addiction. It is not easy, but with your help and love, it isn’t hopeless!
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