Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be unable to stop drinking or using drugs? Substance abuse disorders affect millions of people from all walks of life. Drug addiction and alcoholism has no gender or ethnic boundaries.
It can destroy anyone’s life, regardless of age or socioeconomic status. Someone who struggles with alcohol may be an alcoholic. There are professional guidelines to help understand this important determination.
But how can you help an alcoholic if you’re not a trained substance abuse specialist? There are a few subtle things you can do to help. However, and maybe even more importantly, there are things that you should never do. Let’s explore how to help an alcoholic.
Talk to Them
If you never mention your concern about a friend or loved one’s drinking, there is no way they will ever know. Never hide your concern. Alcoholism is a serious disease that can not only destroy someone’s life, but it can kill them. Talk to them about their drinking.
As you speak with someone about their drinking problem, it is strongly suggested that you totally avoid condemnation. Alcoholism is a disease. Alcoholics need help to appreciate that there is little likelihood they can stop on their own.
If they feel condemned, or you overwhelm them with guilt, they may resist seeking help. Despite being concerned and upset about the behavior, never show anger or contempt for the person. These are not bad people. They are sick people who need help. Avoid condemning an alcoholic.
Address the Behavior
As you avoid condemning the alcoholic for suffering from a debilitating disease, you do not need to avoid addressing the behavior. Be honest and forthright with how the drinking is affecting you. You can speak to how it makes you feel. While you should avoid condemning the person, you must be honest about how the drinking is affecting you and those around you.
Seek Professional Advice
If you are not a trained addiction specialist, you may want to speak to someone before you even talk to an alcoholic. It is very easy to step across the line and do more harm than good. Substance abuse professionals are trained in helping people with substance problems.
Often, these individuals can help you organize what is called an intervention. When properly coordinated, an intervention can help someone appreciate how their substance abuse is affecting everyone around them.
Set Up an Intervention
An intervention is often the last resort to help impress upon an addict or alcoholic that their substance abuse has become unacceptable. It can be the last effort before asking someone to move out of a home. It can be the last recourse before making hard decisions about a romantic relationship.
Interventions are serious and should be treated as such. Do not try to stage an intervention without professional advice. However, if properly orchestrated, an intervention can help bring a substance abuse issue out into the open.
There are recovery fellowships that can help as well. Recovery alcoholics who are part of Alcoholics Anonymous refer to these as 12-step calls. While not exactly the same as a professionally organized intervention, they will offer solutions.
If you have a friend or loved one who may be an alcoholic, follow these suggestions on what to do and not to do. There are also professionals who you can speak with about your concerns. These addiction specialists are trained in helping you help an alcoholic without making things worse.
Substance abuse can be overwhelming. If you feel you personally have a problem with drugs or alcohol, don’t wait for someone else to tell you. There is help available. All you have to do is ask. Reach out for help today, and you can begin a wonderful journey without the need for drugs and alcohol. Call us today at 866-963-7200.