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Alcohol Addiction: How to Help Your Loved Ones

Written on July 7, 2022
Alcohol Addiction: How to Help Your Loved Ones

There are more than 14.5 million people who suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the United States. Alcohol use disorder occurs when an individual consumes alcohol in a way that negatively affects their social and physical health.

If someone you love drinks too much, you can help them find alcohol addiction treatment.

Here’s what you can do to help.

Learn about alcohol use disorder

Before you approach a loved one about their drinking, it’s important to learn more about AUD. This can help you understand if your loved one is addicted to alcohol or if there’s something else going on.

Signs of alcohol use disorder can vary, but may include:

  • Drinking more than intended
  • Wanting to cut down or stop drinking, but not being able to
  • Continuing to drink despite the impact on work and family
  • Giving up or cutting back on activities in order to drink instead
  • Having cravings for alcohol
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop drinking, like trouble sleeping, shakiness, nausea, a racing heart, or sensing things that aren’t there

Other good sources of information include the NIAAA, SAMHSA, and Alcoholics Anonymous.

Share your concerns

Choose a time and place to share your concerns with your loved one.  Make sure that you won’t be interrupted and that the person you’re worried about isn’t distracted or preoccupied with other issues.  It’s also important to choose a time when they’re sober.

It can help to practice what you want to say ahead of time.  Remember, AUD is a medical issue that requires professional treatment and support through an alcohol rehab treatment center or outpatient facility.  Avoid blaming the individual and focus instead on supporting them in getting help.

Connect them with professional help

Your loved one may be resistant to getting help.  They may feel embarrassed or angry.  Listen with empathy and compassion, and encourage them to work with a professional alcohol rehab center to determine the appropriate next steps.

Support their recovery

Recovery from AUD can take time.  Your loved one will need continued support and encouragement to stick to their treatment goals.

You can support them by:

  • Listening empathetically
  • Being honest about your concerns
  • Help them attend meetings or treatment appointments
  • Never drinking around them, even in social situations
  • Don’t provide financial support except for AUD treatment
  • Taking care of yourself

It’s important to ensure that you take care of yourself as well as your loved one.  Recognize that no one can force someone to get help.

Get help today

If you or a loved one suffers from alcohol use disorder, then we can help.

Reach out to us online or call us at 303-963-9119 to learn more about our treatment center in Boulder, Colorado.

We can provide information and support to help you share your concerns with a loved one who suffers from AUD.  When they’re ready, we can provide compassionate, holistic care that enables individuals to live full, healthy lives free from addiction.