What can you do when you’re watching someone destroy their life struggling with a substance use disorder? The problem doesn’t even have to involve illegal drugs or prescription painkiller misuse. Alcoholism can be as devastating as any drug problem.
One hurdle is how prevalent alcohol is in society. Frequently, drinking alcohol is viewed as a personal privilege. However, when it reaches a level of abuse, it affects everyone around the alcoholic. So how can you deal with a friend or family member’s alcoholism?
There are strategies to help encourage someone who has a problem with alcohol to get help. However, there are things you can do or say which will make the situation worse. Let’s talk about how you can deal with a friend or family member’s alcoholism.
Focus on Being Open and Honest
The first suggestion to help deal with a friend or family member’s alcoholism involves two distinct suggestions. First, you cannot just remain silent and continue to deal with the consequences of alcoholism. Staying silent can seem like you approve of the behavior.
This is a disservice to both you and the alcoholic. Alcoholism is a destructive disease. Alcoholism will eventually destroy your relationship. In fact, prolonged alcoholism can even kill your friend or family member. You may already be aware of how it can devastate relationships.
To sit back and allow alcohol abuse to continue will not work. You must be open and honest about your feelings towards the behavior. Don’t attack the person as being bad or insensitive. One characteristic of alcoholism is not believing that there is a problem at all.
When you are open and honest about how the alcoholic behavior is affecting you, your friend and family member will begin to understand the problems their drinking is creating. This may not be enough to compel them to seek help, but it is the only safe way you can express your concern.
Focus on What You Can Do for Yourself
No one should blame themselves for a friend or family member’s alcoholism or drug abuse problems. However, there are times when certain actions contribute to the problem. People who condone substance abuse, or allow it to go unmentioned, enable the problem.
You can begin to help a friend or family member with a substance abuse problem by focusing on what you can do for yourself. Seek help from a professional to secure qualified expert advice on how to talk to your friend or family member.
There are also outlets where you can share your experience with others who are dealing with an alcoholic or drug addict. These fellowships welcome you to share feelings. There can be a wealth of encouragement and helpful information available within these fellowships.
Focus on the Problem, Not the Person
Through being open and honest, plus paying attention to what you can do for yourself, you’ll be able to focus on what matters; alcoholism. Keep in mind, someone with a substance abuse problem is not a bad person.
Those who suffer from any form of addiction are sick people who need help to get well. Stay focused on the substance abuse problem, not the person. This will help you avoid shaming or condemning the person. By all means, do not condone the behavior.
However, when you seek the advice of trained professionals and like-minded people dealing with substance abuse, you will be able to understand better the struggle. The problem is rarely the person with the substance abuse issue. The problem is the addiction. Focus on the problem, not the person.
If you feel a friend or family member has an alcohol or drug problem, encourage them to seek help. Do not simply sit by idly doing nothing. Honestly express your concern. Help them to reach a positive decision to ask for help on their own.
Support them in recovery, and show appreciation for their progress. Alcoholism and drug addiction can be a lonely place. Your honesty and support can go a long way to helping your friend or family member develop the confidence they need to begin recovery.
If you’re the person who feels you may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, help is available. All you have to do is reach out and ask for help. Help begins with one phone call. Make the call today to 954-523-1167 so that you can launch your journey into a wonderful new way of living.