Alcoholism is a crippling and scary disease that goes unnoticeable in its initial days. Watching a family member struggling with this disease can be difficult. It may be challenging to assess as to how you can change the situation and whether the person wants your help or not. As the person depends on alcohol, personal and professional life may get affected. In most cases, alcoholism can cause devastating health issues. It is a sensitive topic, yet there are ways in which you can get help for alcoholic family members.
Step 1: Learn about alcoholism
Before doing anything, it’s crucial to make sure whether your family member has an alcohol addiction. It is much more than too much drinking, and a coping mechanism may inhibit alcoholism like features, but they are not the same. People with alcohol use disorder never drink in moderation even if they do say so. Explore and research about what this disorder characterizes, so you have your facts straight before intervening.
Step 2: Practice what you will say
It’s important to let your loved one know that whatever you say comes from a place of love and concern. Try to formulate sentences that are patient and supportive instead of negative, hurtful, or presumptuous. It may help to bring up a specific matter such as violent behavior and how that is affecting the environment of the house as well as personal health. Be prepared for every sort of response. Remain calm no matter what, and assure them that they have your respect and support.
Step 3: Pick the appropriate time and place
A lot of thought should be put in before diving into this sensitive conversation. Time and place play a vital role when trying to gather help for alcoholic family members. The place should be private and garner no interruptions, and the person should be sober so that you can talk without worrying about being misinterpreted.
Step 4: Exhibit genuine compassion when listening
If the person has an alcohol use disorder, then the best approach is to be open and honest about it. Thinking and hoping that it will get better on its own will not change the situation. Tell your family members that you are worried and would like to help them in any way possible. You may be faced with denial and anger but don’t expect a miraculous outcome from this conversation and give them space to come to terms with it on their own.
Step 5: offer your support.
Accept the fact – you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. And, you can offer support, but you can’t force the person to get the right treatment. Keep yourself stress-free during this process and keep trying instead of pushing yourself too hard for quick results. Don’t be judgmental and show that you sincerely care about their well being. They may vow to make it better on their own, but these words are meaningless unless followed by some action. Persuade them to get into a formal treatment program and keep track of their progress.
Step 6: intervene
Approaching someone to discuss concerns is different from an intervention. An intervention is more planned and involved. It may be the only way to take action if someone is resisting help. A professional can offer advice on how to get help for alcoholic family members. This process involves other family members getting together and confronting the person to get treatment.
The treatment of alcohol use disorder is an on-going process and isn’t done when the person is in therapy. It’s essential to have constant support even after treatment. There are ways in which you can help them, for example, by not drinking around them or have any alcohol in the house. Such things go a long way in helping someone recover faster and keep them going forward positively.