One of the biggest causes of relapse is stress, and your loved one may need to add stress-relieving activities to their routine to overcome alcohol cravings. Encourage your loved one to try activities like journaling, yoga, meditation, and regular exercise to relieve stress. You may also want to see if other family members and friends want to be involved. This can depend on several factors, such as how serious the situation is or how private the person may be. Choose the right time to have this important conversation.

  • Here are some tips from a clinical psychologist for what to say, and what not to say, to someone with alcoholism.
  • These symptoms can occur in as little as two hours to four days after stopping alcohol use.
  • Included below are a list of guidelines that may help you improve the outcome of any conversation with your parent.
  • In 2009, only 2.6 million of the 23.5 million people who abused drugs and alcohol received treatment, according to…
  • Encouraging someone to get help can be an uphill battle.

For example, a physician or someone else they trust can have an impact. It’s not easy to admit that your love, money, dedication, loyalty—you name it—can’t help an alcoholic loved one. It can be even harder to recognize that in the face of alcoholism, your best efforts just might not be enough. So when it comes to dealing with an alcoholic, the actions we have to take feel counterintuitive.

Find Help for a Loved One Today

Learning how to get an alcoholic help is always valuable if someone you know is struggling with alcohol use disorder. When that person happens to be your partner, you should take action immediately. A conversation when they’ve been drinking or are stressed is likely to trigger a lot of emotions that could get out of hand. Choose a time when you’re both well-rested and clearheaded. But you can present your concerns in such a way that they might see things more clearly and get the help they need.

how to help an alcoholic

Make it clear that you want to help your loved one seek treatment, explain how the alcohol use is affecting you, and present your research. You may want to speak to a healthcare provider who specializes in AUD treatment before talking to your loved one. You may also want to write down what you want to say before you approach them. Remember, it may take a few conversations before they decide to seek help. AUD is a difficult condition, and it can be hard to watch your loved one suffer through an addiction.

Stop trying to save the alcoholic.

When an addict refuses treatment, an addiction intervention can be the wake-up call they need. Drug and alcohol interventions involve gathering important people in your loved one’s life to express concern about their substance abuse. You may have the best outcome by enlisting the help of a professional interventionist. They can help you plan an intervention and 5 Tips to Consider When Choosing a Sober Living House navigate the difficult conversations that need to take place. An interventionist usually works with family and friends ahead of time to rehearse what will happen and suggest ways of communicating that won’t put your loved one on the defense. If your addicted loved one refuses to believe their substance use is an issue, try to get them in for a regular checkup.

how to help an alcoholic

When there is no improvement over time, then family members—it could be a wife, a father, a brother or children—realize that the problem is really alcohol addiction. At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment. In addition to these physical signs, alcoholic loved ones are liable to display poor behaviors.

Supportive tips

For example, if your loved one passes out in the yard and you carefully help them into the house and into bed, only you feel the pain. The focus then becomes what you did (moved them) rather than what they did (drinking so much that they passed out outside). Often, in trying to “help,” well-meaning loved ones will actually do something that enables someone dependent on alcohol to continue along their destructive paths. Make sure that you are not doing anything that bolsters their denial or prevents them from facing the natural consequences of their actions. If family members try to “help” by covering up for their drinking and making excuses for them, they are playing right into their loved one’s denial game. Dealing with the problem openly and honestly is the best approach.

  • AA meetings and similar groups allow your loved one to spend time with others facing the same problems.
  • Before you speak with them, try putting yourself in their shoes.
  • While the addict is the only person who can stop their own alcohol use, loved ones can still take certain steps to try and curb addictive behaviors.

Part of recovery and sobriety is learning how to be self-sufficient, a skill that will never be refined if someone continues taking on an addict’s responsibilities. If you know someone who has successfully quit drinking, speak with them. Ask them how they finally came to terms with their problem and how they were initially approached. Of course, what works for one person will not necessarily work for everyone. However, if you think their experience sounds similar to that of your loved one, ask them if they’d be willing to talk to that person for you.

“I really like spending time with you when you are sober”

Unfortunately, this can often make the addiction worse. Enabling an addict means that your behavior somehow allows them to continue their use. This could mean making excuses for them or bailing them out of bad situations. While it may be difficult to practice tough love, it will be beneficial for the addict in the end. The longer people allow their use to continue, the longer they will take advantage of that fact. Enabling can also mean doing things for an addict that they are plenty capable of doing themselves.

  • It’s common for people to require treatment more than once to finally achieve sobriety.
  • Medicines are usually used together with talk therapy and support groups.
  • Take care of yourself and only do what you’re capable of.
  • It’s a good idea to speak with a few addiction treatment centers ahead of time, so you can get your loved one there immediately should they agree to go.

Your loved one’s drinking isn’t likely to get better on its own; it’s more likely to get worse until you speak up. It can also cause stress and worry for friends and family. 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. If your attempts to help an alcoholic don’t seem to be working, the next step is to understand how to help someone who doesn’t want help.

She recommends having resources available and ready for when they are ready to engage in treatment. Even if they decline, she says to thank them for listening and remind them you are there to support them. This summary was prepared by the John M. Eisenberg Center for Clinical Decisions and Communications Science at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. It was written by Amelia Williamson Smith, M.S., Thomas Kosten, M.D., and Michael Fordis, M.D. People with alcohol use disorder reviewed this summary. With these improvements in hand, they can proceed with counseling and life skills training to restore the integrity and good sense that will keep them alcohol-free for a lifetime.

How do you help someone who can’t stop drinking?

  1. Step 1: Talk. Talk about your worries when the person is sober.
  2. Step 2: Offer your help. Suggest activities that don't include drinking alcohol.
  3. Step 3: Take care of yourself. Caring for someone with alcohol misuse or use disorder can be stressful.

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