Are You Living With an Alcoholic? 5 Ways to Make Life Easier
One in eight American adults, or 12.7% of our country's population, have an alcohol use disorder. Alcoholism doesn't only affect the person holding the bottle, though. If you're living with an alcoholic, chances are, you've felt the strain yourself.
Loving an alcoholic isn't always easy. While they can benefit from your support, your health and happiness matter too.
Find the balance with these five tips on how to live with an alcoholic. These tips can make your life a little easier.
1. Know the Signs
First, it's important you understand the signs of alcohol abuse. You're likely living with an alcoholic if they:
- Drink alone to hide their addiction
- Black out often
- Drink regularly and get upset when they don't have access to alcohol
- Store alcohol in strange places
- Drink to get drunk
- Experience a loss of interest in people and activities
Alcoholism is often connected to genetics. Other risk factors can turn a moderate drinker into an alcoholic, including:
- Drinking from an early age
- Binge drinking regularly
- Social influences
- Drinking alcohol on medications
- Family history
A person with alcohol dependency will have a difficult time stopping on their own.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Some alcoholics can become mentally and/or physically abusive. Before you learn how to deal with an alcoholic, you need to prioritize your own safety.
Don't blame yourself for your loved one's behavior. Remember, you're hurting as well.
Consider seeking private counseling or group therapy. Other people who have dealt with the same situation can help you process what's happening and find encouragement.
If you're in a dangerous living situation, you or your loved one may need to leave.
3. Approach With Care
Don't enable your loved one's drinking. Alcohol won't keep them happy; rather, you're temporarily subduing them.
Instead, approach your loved one about their drinking problem with care. Try to have this conversation while they're sober. Meanwhile, avoid threatening them.
Instead, communicate your concerns and feelings. Take a non-judgemental approach to this conversation.
Likely, your loved one will try to explain their drinking. Prepare yourself for possible excuses or denial.
4. Stage an Intervention
If your loved one doesn't think they need help, you may need to stage an intervention. This can provide your loved one with the push they need.
During the intervention, use concise statements. Don't lecture them. Instead, try to explain your concerns without judgment.
Remind your loved one that an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year. Let your loved one know that you don't want to lose them too.
5. Help Them Get Treatment
If you're living with an alcoholic, let them know there are different options for treatment. For example, a detox center can help them safely stop drinking while minimizing the side effects of withdrawal.
Getting your loved one the help they need through professional treatment could save their life. Support them as they maintain their sobriety and earn their AA chips.
5 Ways to Make Life Easier When Living With an Alcoholic
Living with an alcoholic isn't easy. With these tips, you can confront the problem. Then, your loved one can find the care they need.
Explore our shop to find an AA chip for your loved one.