Most people want to help those that they care about. However, knowing how to help an alcoholic isn’t easy or straightforward. Sometimes, help looks a lot like enabling. Learn what it takes to help an alcoholic loved one get on the road to recovery.
Learn to Spot the Signs of Alcoholism
One of the most important ways that you can help a person struggling with alcoholism is by understanding addiction. One of the first steps is being able to spot the most common signs of an alcohol addiction, which can include:
- Inability to stop drinking, stop after one drink or cut back
- Withdrawal symptoms if alcohol consumption is skipped or reduced
- Increased tolerance for alcohol
- Health problems resulting from alcohol consumption
- Legal issues resulting from alcohol
- Inability to hold down a job
- Relationship problems with friends, family and loved ones
In addition to understanding what alcoholism looks like, it’s important to know what alcoholism actually is. Addiction is a disease, not a choice or a flaw. Therefore, alcoholics can’t simply choose to get better, no matter how much they may want to.
Verbalize Your Ongoing Support
A key element of helping an alcoholic is providing ample support. Alcoholics often feel emotions like shame, regret and isolation because of their drinking. They may be embarrassed by their illness and feel like they have nowhere to turn. Unfortunately, this can often make the addiction worse.
For this reason, it’s vital that you verbally show your support. This could be as simple as saying that you love them, that you care about them or that you’re willing to help them do whatever they need to do to get sober.
Encourage Them to Seek Treatment
When you care about someone, you don’t want to see them continue down a dangerous path without encouraging them to move in a new direction. If you support an alcoholic but don’t encourage them to go into treatment, you may enabling their addiction.
Whenever possible, discuss addiction treatment with your loved one. Explore the best route to recovery, and explain that you only want the best for them. All of this can be done in an encouraging rather than in a confrontational way in most cases.
How to Help an Alcoholic Take the First Step
Finally, if you truly want to know how to help an alcoholic, you need to help them take the first steps. This might involve helping them choose an appropriate alcohol recovery program, or it might mean confirming that their health insurance plan covers certain addiction treatment programs. Sometimes, all you need to do is physically help them get to an addiction treatment center for that very first day.
The best way to help an alcoholic loved one might be telling them about San Antonio Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas. By calling 866-957-7885 today, you can explore how to beat alcoholism and what it will take to begin the journey to sobriety right away.