Supporting Your Loved One With Alcohol Addiction

When your loved one finally faces the truth about their alcohol addiction, you may be feeling a mix of emotions. You may be relieved that they finally are acknowledging their problem, anxious about what’s to come, and sad or angry that it has come to this point. You want to support them, but you aren’t sure the healthiest and most helpful way to do so. While each individual will need unique support during their journey towards sobriety, there are certain things you can do (and not do) that can be especially helpful.

How to Talk to Your Loved One About Outpatient Alcohol Treatment

Your loved one may have acknowledged that they have a problem, but they may not know how to proceed. Many people believe that they can quit drinking “cold turkey” without any professional support. It is rare for this strategy to be effective in the long term. In reality, an alcohol treatment facility that uses medical interventions offers to best strategy to help a person with alcoholism go sober. If your loved one is truly ready to quit drinking, give us a call for a free consultation with an addiction specialist.

If you haven’t yet broached the subject with your loved one, it might be difficult to imagine how the conversation will go. You might feel nervous about how they will react. We wrote more extensively on this topic in a previous article, but here are some general guidelines for the conversation:

  • Be informed. Before you get started, make sure that you know about alcohol use disorder so you can come from a place of knowledge. A good place to start is our previous article, What is Alcohol Use Disorder?. This will help you have more empathy for them when you have this discussion.
  • Practice. This is a tough conversation to have, so it warrants a lot of thought beforehand. Practice the conversation so that you properly communicate how much you care for them, and how concerned you are. Own your feelings and avoid being accusatory.
  • Time it right. Make sure that it’s the right time to bring it up. They should be sober and relatively calm and composed so you know that they will be more receptive to what you have to say.
  • Consider an intervention. If your loved one is very resistant to getting treatment, you might need to set up an intervention. This involves assembling a group of their friends and family members to confront the person about their need for treatment, and are best done with the help of a trained addiction specialist. Contact us to discuss your options for this method.

How to Support Your Loved One With Alcoholism

There is no easy, quick cure for alcohol dependence. The journey towards sobriety requires a lot of ongoing support from friends and family. Once they have decided to seek alcohol treatment, it’s important to stand by them as they learn to adapt to alcohol-free life.

What Not To Do

  • Don’t drink in front of them, even at social events. This sends mixed messages to your loved one, and can trigger alcohol cravings in them. Making a point to not drink in front of them makes it easier for them to spend time with you and shows your support with your actions, not just your words.
  • Don’t assume responsibility for their treatment. While your support is important, you cannot take all responsibility for your loved one’s actions. They have to want to go sober, and part of the process is doing it for themselves. You can’t take on their treatment as your own; this is their journey.
  • Don’t tell them what to do. You can’t just tell someone what to do and how to do it when it comes to alcohol treatment. It’s best to offer nonjudgmental support and to trust them to know themselves better than you do.

What To Do

  • Get help for yourself. Supporting a loved one with alcoholism can take a great emotional toll. Don’t forget yourself in your efforts to support them. Many people in this situation seek out therapy to help them cope with the feelings that come up when helping a loved one through alcohol addiction treatment.
  • Offer support in any way you can. Support will look different depending on your relationship with them and your needs, but you can offer support by listening to them talk about their struggles, offering childcare or household work so they have more time to seek treatment, or doing sober and fun activities with them.

If you’re looking for outpatient alcohol treatment in Denver for your loved one, we offer a medically based program that actually works. By addressing the biological reasons behind alcohol addiction, we are able to provide a truly effective method of alcohol addiction treatment. Contact us for a free consultation with an addiction specialist.

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