They say that addicts, no matter if we are talking about alcohol or drugs, cannot be forced to take up a treatment that we think they desperately need. No one can convince them to help themselves and make them do something they do not feel they are ready to themselves, for example, give up drinking or taking drugs. Yet, when a person we love and care about is going through something like this, we cannot just sit back and relax doing nothing… We want to do everything in our power to somehow help them, make them stop, try making them think more clearly. Are there some things we can do in order to help our family member with an alcohol addiction? There sure are several things we can think of, and we do not need to use force at all.
Be there for them to talk about anything
Talking always helps, and it helps everyone. Usually, when people start drinking too much, they are trying to run away from something. We are not just talking about an occasional excuse to celebrate with a glass of beer, or wine taken during dinner time; we are talking about drinking all the time in order to avoid facing a certain problem. Try to make your loved one talk to you, make them tell you what is bothering them, why they are feeling like they have to turn to alcohol instead of doing something healthier. Be patient with them, especially if they are going through the alcohol withdrawal period that can be terrifying and exhausting. Be there for them, but do not force them to tell you things they do not feel like revealing.
Mention the health risks, but don’t be pushy
There are some serious health risks for those who drink too much, and even if we know this, a big percentage of people still decide to abuse alcohol. When you try to speak about these kinds of things to your family member who has a problem with alcohol addiction, being pushy will only make everything even worse. We all know what waits for us if we overdrink. However, if you try to talk about these things in a reasonable way, maybe you will manage to do something about it. If they start listening and responding well, try showing them pictures of people whose health was ruined because of alcohol. Be persistent, but do not exaggerate. This should motivate them to stop, and not make them disgusted.
This is very important. We all know what good motivation can do for us. It can make us fly, do something difficult or what we thought was impossible. You can mention other people who succeeded, giving some impressive examples. There are many stories of these kinds of people in magazines, all over the internet, or maybe a neighbor of yours had a similar problem, etc. Compare your loved one to those who are strong and successful, let them imagine all the great things that can happen in the future. Offer them a pair of wings and watch how a desire to fly in them develops and grows stronger.
Do not be judgmental
Just because this is not happening to you, it does not mean you are better than your loved one who is having the crisis. Being judgmental and passing shame will help no one. They are not weaker because they have a problem. It can happen to anyone of us. Maybe it is just a bad period for them, they may be going through something terrible. What they need is full support, not words of judgment or scolding. Also, if you are being full of understanding instead of criticism, they will feel more comfortable talking to you and maybe that is exactly what they need.
Do not drink around them
This would be the worst thing to do! If you want to help your loved one stop drinking, then definitely do not let them see you do the exact same thing. Avoid consuming alcohol in front of them, even when there is a special occasion. Nothing is more important than their well-being, so you can celebrate with a glass of soda instead of wine, champagne or something alcoholic. There are many delicious non-alcoholic drinks you can enjoy, so there are no excuses for taking alcohol.
Keep in mind that being an alcohol addict is very difficult. Those who need alcohol probably have problems they like to run away from when they drink. Try to be supportive by doing these several things and also know that you will need a lot of patience. Even if they say that they do not need your help, do not give up, but pay attention to how you go about it.