I’m sure you have heard it said before that you cannot force an alcoholic to quit drinking. They can only stop and truly begin to recover when they have decided that they are ready to do so. While this statement is 100% true there are still certain steps that you can take when you see a loved one is struggling with an addiction to alcohol. Gently applying the following methods could very well be the catalyst that brings your friend or loved one around to finally getting themselves the help that they need.
HAVE AN OPEN LINE OF COMMUNICATION
If you have a genuine concern for the health and safety of someone, they are never going to know unless you tell them. While an intervention is the most notable method of doing this it can have the unintended consequence of making the alcoholic feel attacked. Instead of an intervention, try sitting down and simply having a conversation. Express your concerns calmly and gently, while reinforcing the fact that you have a genuine, caring concern about their behavior. Make sure they understand that all of this is coming from a place of love.
It is the way of the alcoholic to attribute the fault of their problems to literally anything in the world that isn’t alcohol. You will need to be ready with hard, factual examples of times where their drinking has directly affected their, job, family, and personal finances. This conversation is sure to make the drinker defensive, so be prepared for that. If you are unable to define specific reasons for your concern about someone’s drinking they may not take you seriously and makes it that much easier for them to dismiss you.
Someone with a drinking problem is highly likely to choose the ability to drink over anything else, even offers of help which they may actually want. This starts the cycle of drinking, depression, isolation, and shame all over again compounding the issue and making it worse. When trying to open a dialogue with an alcoholic it is important that you do not make any ultimatums for this very reason. The best thing that you can do here is to be ready with lots of solid advice from research that you have done and offer it with empathy.
NO JUDGMENT, NO SHAME
The last thing that an addict needs, especially if you truly care about them, is more shame or a furthering of their already low self-esteem. If you have not been through the heartbreaking depths of alcoholism yourself, it is important that you do not attempt to pass judgment on the drinker or attempt to tell them where they went wrong, or what they “should have done”.
Continue to support your loved one and help them to see that they are in need of professional recovery treatment. Asana Recovery has the means to offer the same caring and compassion as you, backed by extensive medical knowledge and practices to ease your loved one through the long, arduous recovery process. Continued love and support is vital for recovery, so if you are concerned about someone you care about to reach out to Asana Recovery today and see how we can help you both.