Author: Charles Frank

How To Help Someone You Know Who Drinks Too Much National Institute on Aging

how to help an alcoholic

Many family members, particularly parents and siblings, carry around a sense of responsibility for their loved one’s alcoholism. We’ll hear families say, “Where did I go wrong? ” or “It’s all our fault because we got divorced.” But it’s critical to know you aren’t to blame for someone’s disease. Talk to a professional, like a counselor, therapist, or social worker, so they can help you understand the genetic and lifestyle components of alcoholism.

how to help an alcoholic

Don’t expect your loved one to overcome a drinking problem alone. Even if they don’t require medical supervision to withdraw safely, they’ll still need support, guidance, and new coping skills to quit or cut back on their drinking. Watching a family member, friend, or coworker with an alcohol use disorder can be difficult. You might wonder what you can do to change the situation, and whether or not the person even wants your help.

For more information about help for alcohol problems

It can be difficult to communicate your concerns and find ways to help a loved one cut back or quit drinking. Following are suggestions on how to approach the topic, offer to help, and take care of yourself. Encourage your loved one to cultivate new interests. When someone spends a lot of time drinking (and recovering from drinking), quitting or cutting down can leave a huge hole in their lives. Encourage your loved one to develop new hobbies and interests that don’t involve drinking.

AA groups meet in many different municipalities, and the largest cities also have English-speaking groups.

  1. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone in your struggle.
  2. You can also try one of HelpGuide’s guided audio meditations to help you stay calm and focused as you make this challenging journey.
  3. Before you do anything, it’s important to know whether your friend or loved one has an alcohol addiction.
  4. Someone who abuses alcohol will not magically become a different person once they’re sober.

Al-Anon and Alateen – Support groups for friends and families of problem drinkers. Encourage other interests and social activities. Expose your teen to healthy hobbies and activities, such as team sports, Scouts, and after-school clubs to discourage alcohol use. No matter the reaction, you should stay calm and assure your person that they have your respect and support. If a young person has problems with alcohol, drugs or gaming, they can seek help from a youth station (nuorisoasema).

If the alcoholic’s life is in danger and they’re still resistant to treatment, consult a qualified interventionist.

Sometimes alcohol as coping mechanism or social habit may look like alcoholism, but it’s not the same. People with alcohol use disorder don’t drink in moderation, even if they say they’re only having one drink. To learn more, read about alcoholism and its symptoms. Your city’s local Alcoholics Anonymous central office can help coordinate it. Google “Alcoholics Anonymous + your city” to find their contact information. That’s where you’ll also find a list of local meetings.

Find out as much as you can about the effects of alcohol and the signs of alcohol misuse so you have facts on hand. We’ll be able to tell you if your insurance provider is in network with an American Addiction Centers treatment facility. Mental health and wellness tips, our latest guides, resources, and more.

how to help an alcoholic

Contact us today to learn more about how to help an alcoholic family member or friend. Try not to allow your loved one’s behavior to dictate your own health and happiness. Schedule time into your day for relaxing, maintaining your own health, and doing the things you enjoy. Your loved one’s recovery can be a long process, so you need to maintain a balance in your life.

Making a major life change by giving up or cutting down on alcohol can create stress. Similarly, heavy alcohol use is often an unhealthy means of managing stress. You can help your loved one find healthier ways to reduce their stress level by encouraging them to exercise, confide in others, meditate, or adopt other relaxation practices.

Your teen should understand that drinking alcohol comes with specific consequences. But don’t make hollow threats or set rules that you cannot enforce. If you don’t control codependency, it can lead into more serious complications such as obsessive behavior, blame, and mental health issues. Your friend or loved one may also vow to cut back on their own.

Your loved one’s primary care doctor or GP can evaluate their drinking patterns, assess their overall health and any co-occurring disorders, and provide treatment referrals. If appropriate, your loved one’s doctor may even prescribe medication approved to help treat alcohol dependence. Witnessing your loved one’s drinking and the deterioration of your relationship can trigger many distressing emotions, including shame, fear, anger, and self-blame. Your loved one’s addiction may even be so overwhelming that it seems easier to ignore it and pretend that nothing is wrong. But in the long run denying it will only bring more harm to you, your loved one with the problem, and the rest of your family.

Avoid giving or lending money to an alcoholic.

Treating alcoholism isn’t easy, and it doesn’t always work the first time around. Often a person has been contemplating abstinence for some time, yet couldn’t get sober on their own. Don’t blame yourself if the first intervention isn’t successful. The most successful treatment happens when a person wants to change. As people grow older, they may find that the effects of the same amount of alcohol they consumed when younger now have a more dramatic impact. Older adults also tend to take more medications, some of which can boost the effect of alcohol and cause other harmful interactions.

How to Help Someone with an Alcohol Addiction

Remain calm when confronting your teen, and only do so when everyone is sober. Explain your concerns and make it clear that your worry comes from a place of love. It’s important that your teen feels you are supportive.

If all of your attempts to offer support and help are falling on deaf ears, it may be time to seek the help of a professional who can walk you through how an intervention would work. Advice like “try harder” or “just drink less” isn’t helpful. Alcoholics are suffering from a progressive, and often fatal, disease. It would be like telling someone with diabetes to just try harder at not having diabetes. It doesn’t make sense and they wouldn’t be able to do it no matter how hard they tried. With few exceptions, alcoholics know right from wrong.

Of course, if they or others are in serious, immediate danger, call 911. Encourage their hobbies and healthy friendships. Have some concrete next steps for them to choose from, in case they’re ready to get help. Look for local Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, find counselors that fit their insurance plan, and research treatment facilities. It is also important to remember that while you can do your best to support them, a relapse may occur and is common. If this happens, it is not your fault, regardless of how supportive you’ve been.