According to the World Health Organization, excessive alcohol consumption is a factor in more than 200 different illnesses and injuries.
Living with and loving an alcoholic can take a toll on your life. This guide will discuss some of the things you should and shouldn’t do to help them. Keep reading to learn more.
Do Work on Yourself
If you want to know how to help an alcoholic, the best thing you can do is work on yourself. Taking care of yourself first is the only way you can provide genuine help to someone in need.
Being in a good place means you’ll have the headspace needed to help your loved ones find solutions that can help them in the long run. This will prevent you from covering for your loved ones or allowing behavior that keeps them drowned in their addiction, at least in your presence.
Do Maintain a Routine
Another way to help an alcoholic in your life is by keeping a routine. If you live together, creating a routine in your household can help them avoid negative thoughts and harmful behaviors like binge drinking.
A family routine means you’ll wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. Prepare meals for the week and set up healthy activities for relaxing after work.
Add some family fitness time too. Keeping a balanced schedule will keep your loved one busy and away from the alcohol.
Do the Research
Living with an alcoholic is a hard learning process you’ll have to go through. One thing that can help you and your family cope is doing the necessary research.
Learn everything you can about alcoholism. While you can’t fully understand this addiction if you haven’t been through it yourself, the only way you can help is by learning about it as much as possible.
Do some research about how alcoholism develops, what some of the risk factors are. This can help you better understand how your loved one got to this point. You should also read about the recovery process and learn what steps need to occur to achieve recovery.
Do Suggest Treatment
Another vital thing you should do with an alcoholic is to encourage them to go to treatment. While you can’t force anyone to get help if they do want it themselves, offering your support can help lead your loved one to the right path.
You can offer to sit down with them to look for the right inpatient alcohol rehab. Alcoholism isn’t something you can come out of on your own. While you have to do a lot of self-work in the recovery process, professional help is vital to getting you to the other side.
Participating in a program offers access to therapy and other resources needed to achieve recovery and stay sober that aren’t available elsewhere.
Do Get Support for Yourself
While an alcoholic family member needs to go to treatment, the rest of the family can benefit from treatment as well. A trained therapist can offer you the support you need to manage your loved one’s addiction. They can help you and your family find ways to cope as this is an illness that affects the entire family.
You can also consider searching for a support group for family members of alcoholics. Speaking to others going through a similar experience can be beneficial to your mental health.
Being married to an alcoholic can be hard on your relationship. Having a support group of family members and friends who will listen to your struggles can help you a lot too.
Loving someone who has an alcohol problem can lead you to make decisions that harm them. While you might not mean to cause them harm, enabling is a common occurrence when you have an alcoholic loved.
Avoid doing anything that makes it easier for your loved one to continue drinking. This can include giving them money, lying about their addiction, giving them alcohol, and making excuses for their behavior.
- Don’t Try to Fix Them
Dating an alcoholic might lead you to problematic behavior. You might think you can be the person to save them, but everyone has to save themselves. While you can try to find your partner the help they need, it’s ultimately their decision to make the change.
You can’t fix someone no matter how much you love them. Don’t try to control your partner’s actions. You might think this will keep them from drinking, but it’ll only create more distance and problems between you.
Don’t Allow Abusive Behavior
Another thing you shouldn’t do when you have an alcoholic in your family is to allow abusive behavior. If you feel like your unsafe, you need to step away from the situation.
Whether you’re feeling emotionally or physically unsafe, you shouldn’t leave your family in that vulnerable position. As much as you love someone, abusive behavior will continue to escalate if not addressed in the right way. Seek professional help if you encounter this situation.
Don’t Expect Quick Changes
Dealing with an alcoholic can be a lifelong struggle. Your loved one will first have to accept they have an issue. The recovery process that comes after will take time and a lot of effort.
The path to recovery isn’t linear either. While your loved one might be making progress, they can easily fall back into their addiction. You’ll need to have a lot of patience because this journey will be a long one.
The recovery process is worth the effort though. Try to remain strong and don’t give up on your loved one.
What to Do and Not to Do When Living With an Alcoholic
This guide has valuable information on what you should and shouldn’t do when dealing with an alcoholic. Remember to research to learn how to help your loved one deal with their alcoholism. Avoid enabling behaviors, however.
Check out some of our other health and wellness blogs to learn more.