What Is the Best Thing to Do First When You Discover Someone Is an Alcoholic?

For many people, drinking is a normal aspect of life. In many states, it\’s socially and legally acceptable for an adult to take alcohol. But since the effects of alcohol vary from one person to the other, it\’s challenging to tell when a loved one\’s alcohol consumption has gone beyond the acceptable limits. There is no set amount that shows someone is an alcoholic. Rather, it\’s defined by how your alcohol consumption impacts other people’s life.

During these uncertain times of the global coronavirus pandemic, high unemployment, and economic instability, many people have adopted alcohol as a stress reliever. While it\’s understandable, it doesn\’t become less of a concern. Taking alcohol to deal with financial difficulties, cope with stress, or avoid negative emotions may be an indication that your loved one\’s alcohol intake has become problematic. Your loved one has a drinking issue if they:

  • Neglect their responsibilities at work, school, or home because they are drinking.
  • Regularly drink more than they want to
  • Try to cover up or lie about how much they are drinking
  • Blackout or forget what they did or said when drunk
  • Continue taking alcohol even when it\’s affecting their relationship with you and others.
  • Use alcohol as a self-prescription for a mental health issue such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, or depression.

Research About Alcoholism and Addiction and Then Talk to Them About Their Drinking

If you notice the tell-tale signs that someone has a drinking problem, the first step you should take to help them is conducting comprehensive research about alcohol abuse and addiction. Alcohol use disorder encompasses more than drinking too much regularly. In some cases, taking alcohol as a social habit may seem like an addiction, but it\’s different. Persons with a drinking problem don\’t consume alcohol in moderation, even when they say they\’ll only have one drink.

After you have researched on alcoholism and various types of treatment and self-help options available, you will be ready to talk to your loved one about their drinking and provide them with the resources and support they need to stop. It’s not easy to talk to someone concerning their drinking. You may not tell if the person will get angry, defensive, or deny that they\’ve got a drinking problem once you bring the topic up. In fact, those are the most common reactions.

However, it should not be a reason to avoid talking about it. Your loved one is less likely to overcome the problem independently; it will probably get worse. Although it\’s crucial to express your concerns openly, you should know that you can’t force an individual to stop drinking excessively. In as much as you\’re willing to help, you cannot make them quit alcohol unless they choose to.

However, you can give them steps to take to deal with their problem, whether it\’s finding a therapist, joining a group meeting, or starting treatment. When talking to someone about their drinking, choose a time they’re sober and not preoccupied with other matters. Also, choose a quiet and private place with no distractions.

Convey your concerns in a caring manner. Tell them about how worried you are due to their drinking and how it\’s affecting your relationship, health, and family at large. Try to stay neutral and compassionate rather than judge their behavior or shame them. Encourage your loved one to speak up concerning the reasons they\’re drinking excessively. Numerous factors might be contributing to their behavior, but for your loved one to overcome the problem, they have to address all underlying causes.

Offer Your Support

You can’t force somebody to seek professional help. Offering your support is all you can do to help them overcome alcoholism. It\’s up to them to determine if they will accept it. Be empathetic, sincere, and non-judgmental. Visualize yourself in the same situation and how you would react. Your loved one may promise to cut back on their alcohol intake alone, but actions are better than words. Encourage the person to join a treatment program. You can encourage someone to seek help by:

  • Offering to accompany them to counselling sessions, doctor appointments, or group meetings
  • Being beside them while they contact a helpline for guidance
  • Creating a solid plan with them, specifying what they have to change and how

You should not cut off your support once your loved ones agree to find help. Recovery is a continuous process that takes time and patience. An addict will not magically change once they get sober. They will face a lot of new issues and have to find new ways to survive without alcohol. Also, they’ll have to address the issues that contributed to their drinking problem in the first place. But with your continued support, they\’ll get there. If you have noticed someone struggling with alcohol and drug addiction, we can help. Call us today at 833-610-1174.

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