How to Encourage a Loved One to Seek Help for Their Alcohol Addiction
Helping a loved one get sober is one of the most difficult tasks a person can undertake. Addiction not only destroys the addict's life, but it often destroys the addict's loved ones as well.
Family and close friends form a system that is undeniably affected by addiction, and this system also influences the addict's choices. Encouraging a loved one to get sober requires all members of the system to also change their behavior.
Some of the best ways to do this are outlined in the guide below.
Try to Talk When Sober
Obviously, people are more calm and level-headed when they are sober. Unfortunately, for some addicts, they are rarely -- if ever -- sober.
If possible, try to find the time of day when they are the soberest. Make sure to talk to them in a quiet and private environment with no distractions.
Naturally, addiction makes family and close friends feel a myriad of emotions. It is often a mixture of anger, sadness, guilt, and disappointment. Although these emotions are valid, they have to be set aside for this conversation.
Approach your loved one with nothing but love and compassion. You can share your concerns about how addiction affects their life, but avoid conveying shame or judgment.
Be An Example
Ideally, the person confronting the addict does not have a substance abuse problem of their own. Even if it's not abuse, try not to let the addict see you imbibing around them. Be a model for the behavior you want to see from them.
It's also effective for family and close friends to start therapy. This will show the addict that everyone is committed to change.
OFfering support does not mean enabling. It does not mean lending money or letting an addict drink in your presence. It means driving them to appointments, awarding them recovery chips, listening to them talk, and being them for them.
You can also sit with them and help them draw up an action plan that meets their needs.
Get to know the phrase, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change." This is the most important lesson for the family and close friends of an addict. You cannot control them or force them to get sober.
Addiction is a disease, a compulsion, and it cannot be willed away. It cannot be stopped without professional help, and it may take a long time for the addict to accept this. Ultimately, it is the addict's choice whether they want to learn how to manage their disease.
Places to Get Sober
Anyone with an alcohol addiction needs a safe place to get sober. Alcohol withdrawal is one of the most dangerous forms of substance withdrawal. A loved one trying to get sober should be supervised by a medical professional.
For more advice about sobriety, consider joining one of our online meetings. At these meetings, you will find others to share your story with.