How to Help an Alcoholic: Guide to Help Someone With Alcoholism

Sober living

The focus then becomes what you did (moved them) rather than what they did (drinking so much that they passed out outside). 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. The key to dealing with alcohol dependency in the family is staying focused on the situation as it exists today. It doesn’t reach a certain level and remain there for very long; it continues to get worse until the person with an alcohol problem seeks help.

When to Consider Hiring an Interventionist?

About half the people who complete alcohol abuse treatment for the first time stay alcohol-free, while the other half relapse and return to drinking at some point. It’s common for people to require treatment more than once to finally achieve sobriety. That means you’ll need plenty of patience when supporting your loved one’s recovery. Attending a 12-step program or other support group is one of the most common treatment options for alcohol abuse and addiction. AA meetings and similar groups allow your loved one to spend time with others facing the same problems.

Tips for talking to someone about their drinking: Things that can HELP

Many young adults have greater freedom and independence, and they take on more responsibility as they enter the next chapter of their lives. During this time, young adults may have an increased vulnerability for alcohol misuse and alcohol use disorder. I should have loved the lungs I’m with,” I remember she gasped resolutely. How do we ensure the confidentiality of the intervention process? Professional interventionists uphold strict ethical standards.

How to Stage an Alcohol or Drug Abuse Intervention

how to do an intervention for an alcoholic

Additionally, seeking therapy, either as a family, by yourself, or both, can also help you navigate recovery with your loved one. Finding the right treatment option involves researching providers and choosing one that aligns with your loved one’s needs, starting with a detox program. So can talking about potential treatment options with your intervention specialist. If an intervention is successful, the next step is to begin treatment. To support your loved one’s recovery, it’s vital to have those next steps in place.

how to do an intervention for an alcoholic

  • If friends and family feel too emotionally charged while working on a DIY intervention, they can consult a professional interventionist, social worker, therapist, or other counselor at any time for help.
  • They are prescribed by a primary care physician or other health professional and may be used alone or in combination with counseling.
  • A moment after my first deep breath this morning, I thought back to my friend Simi.
  • Depending on the severity of their AUD, different types of therapy may be recommended.

Listening to others facing the same challenges can serve as a tremendous source of comfort and support, and help you develop new tools for coping. Alateen is a similar support group specifically for teens who have a family member abusing alcohol. If you recognize the warning signs that your loved one has a problem with alcohol, the first step to helping them is to learn all you can about addiction and alcohol abuse. When you’ve researched all the different types of treatment and self-help options open to them, you’ll be ready to talk to your loved about their drinking and offer the support and resources they need. Just as some people with diabetes or asthma may have flare-ups of their disease, a relapse to drinking can be seen as a temporary setback to full recovery and not a complete failure. Seeking professional help can prevent relapse—behavioral therapies can help people develop skills to avoid and overcome triggers, such as stress, that might lead to drinking.

You are not your loved one’s therapist or AA mentor, so don’t try to take on those responsibilities. Dealing with a loved one’s alcohol problem can feel like an emotional rollercoaster and take a heavy toll on your health, outlook, and wellbeing. It’s vital that you stay safe, take care of your own health, and get the support you need. While it’s important to be open and honest about your concerns, you need to remember that you cannot force someone to stop abusing alcohol.

Types of Treatment

  • Your loved one may be disrupting family life by neglecting their responsibilities, getting into financial and legal difficulties, or mistreating or even abusing you and other family members.
  • Ensuring your loved one doesn’t face any consequences isn’t helpful.
  • Among Americans who abuse alcohol, many are able to reduce their drinking without any formal treatment.
  • Preparing statements for an intervention means knowing what will be said, and what to say, ahead of time.
  • Lack of preparation is a common mistake to avoid during an intervention for alcoholism.

Growing up in a home where alcohol use is common, can leave lasting scars. You do not have to put up with unacceptable behavior in your life. Substance use disorder is a primary, chronic, and progressive disease that sometimes can be fatal.

For example, an alcoholic’s husband could talk about how worried he gets late at night when he’s not sure if his wife is still at the bar or if she was hurt on the way home. It can be difficult to know how to do an intervention with a family member who is struggling with alcohol use. In most cases, preparations for an intervention should be made quietly and privately so the person with alcoholism does not know about it ahead of time. With prior notice, an alcoholic family member may simply refuse to show up.

  • Be prepared to discuss any problems that alcohol may be causing.
  • If the subject of the intervention knows they have support as they enter medical detox and a comprehensive rehabilitation program, they are more likely to agree to treatment.
  • Remember to take care of yourself following an intervention, too.
  • The method establishes clear consequences that will take place if the individual does not agree to do so, such as the possibility of divorce, cessation of financial assistance, and more.
  • People who struggle with addiction often won’t accept their situation and don’t want to seek treatment.
  • I remember when we used to [mention a positive memory], but lately, things seem to have changed.
  • AA meetings and similar groups allow your loved one to spend time with others facing the same problems.

An intervention for alcoholism can be a powerful tool in helping a loved one seek treatment for their addiction. However, it’s essential to approach this process carefully and avoid certain mistakes that could undermine its effectiveness. Selecting the right individuals for the intervention team is fundamental for the success of an alcohol intervention.

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