And like with most things, some of it is better than others. We’ve been working with alcoholics and addicts for more than 20 years and know just how difficult it can be to get through to someone stuck in addiction. Jellinek viewed alcohol addiction as a chronic relapsing condition that needed to be treated by health professionals and developed a theory on the progression of the disease through various stages.

We offer multiple levels of care and evidence-based therapies that address the underlying issues of addiction, so your loved one is less likely to relapse. It’s important to know and acknowledge how extremely difficult this is for both you and your loved one. It’s completely understandable if you’re struggling in all aspects of your life because substance abuse can take over families and become the focus. This is incredibly difficult, but you will get through it. Being addicted or loving an alcoholic or addict is devastating for everyone involved. Drug addiction and alcoholism affects everyone in its path.

Health Solutions from Our Sponsors

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse affects millions of people, from every social class, race, background, and culture. While you can’t do the hard work of overcoming addiction for your loved one, your patience, love, and support can play a crucial part in their long-term recovery. With these guidelines, you can help ease your loved one’s suffering, preserve your own mental health and well-being, and restore calm and stability to your relationship and family life. In over 30 locations around the world, the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program helps alcoholics recovery a lasting sobriety. The Narconon program offers much more than just an environment where a person learns to discipline themselves to not drink.

how to help an alcoholic

You can also participate in a program that’s designed for the friends and family members of alcoholics, such as Al-Anon. Standing by your friend or family member’s progress during and after treatment is important, too. Even after recovery, your person will be in situations they can’t predict. Ways you can help include avoiding alcohol when you’re together or opting out of drinking in social situations. Ask about new strategies that they learned in treatment or meetings.

Helping an Alcoholic Loved One

As well as reducing their sense of isolation, your loved one can receive advice on staying sober and unburden themselves to others who understand their struggles firsthand. Studies suggest that the social connection provided by these groups can help your loved one build confidence in their own ability to avoid alcohol in social situations and support their sobriety. 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. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone in your struggle.

  • When a person is truly an alcoholic and they have already been given chances to stop on their own, then it is not time for more chances.
  • Alcohol abuse and addiction (also known as “alcohol use disorder”) doesn’t just affect the person drinking—it affects their families and loved ones, too.
  • Jellinek viewed alcohol addiction as a chronic relapsing condition that needed to be treated by health professionals and developed a theory on the progression of the disease through various stages.
  • 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.
  • Your loved one may longer engage in the hobby they’d cultivated for years, or they might stay away from friends, family, and social gatherings.

Unfortunately, alcoholism doesn’t just impact the alcoholic. It can also cause crippling effects on the alcoholic’s loved ones, especially their children. The major desire of anyone who loves an addict is to see them clean and sober. Many loved ones find themselves disappointed by a recovering addict and the progress that they’ve made, or haven’t made. It is definitely best to avoid disappointment, because the recovering addict will sense that disappointment, which will in turn make them feel hopeless and more likely to relapse. A trained professional interventionist (sorry, not your niece studying psychology in college), can be a vital resource to you, your family, and the alcoholic.

Self-Medicating Depression, Anxiety, and Stress

All of this can be done in an encouraging rather than in a confrontational way in most cases. In addition to understanding what alcoholism looks like, it’s important to know what alcoholism actually is. Therefore, alcoholics can’t simply choose to get better, no matter how much they may want to.

how to help an alcoholic

You suggest they cut back, not go out to bars as often. But alcoholism, by definition, is a very different matter. Keep in mind that your loved one is behaving in this way due to changes to brain structure induced by alcohol abuse.

When the individual does not consume alcohol regularly, they may experience withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings. AAC can provide help for people with AUD and improve treatment outcomes for those in recovery for alcohol use disorder. Millions of readers rely on for free, evidence-based resources to understand and navigate mental health challenges. Please donate today to help us save, support, and change lives.

Can you treat an alcoholic?

Does Treatment Work? The good news is that no matter how severe the problem may seem, most people with AUD can benefit from some form of treatment. Research shows that about one-third of people who are treated for alcohol problems have no further symptoms 1 year later.

Be prepared to discuss any problems that alcohol may be causing. You may want to take a family member or friend along, if possible. In 2009, only 2.6 million of the 23.5 million people who abused drugs and alcohol received treatment, according to… While there is no cure for alcoholism, it can be effectively treated using a combination of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and psychotherapy. Active alcoholism creates a very irrational mentality for the person engaging with this disease.

Step 2: Offer your help

Relationship problems can be the most painful; it can take years to rebuild trust, and in some cases, it just isn’t possible. Additionally, relapse is always sober house a possibility, even after many years. Understanding and preparing for these problems will make it easier to deal with them and lessen their impact.

  • These programs allow patients to live in the treatment facility for a determined amount of time.
  • You’d probably do just about anything to change things for them.
  • An old drinking buddy who found recovery or a sober aunt or uncle they admire and respect can sometimes accomplish in an hour what you’ve been trying to do for years.
  • You can also try one of HelpGuide’s guided audio meditations to help you stay calm and focused as you make this challenging journey.
  • The truth is you cannot force someone to face their demons, get help or admit they have a problem.