How to Support a Family Member in the Program

How to Support a Family Member in the Program

How to Support a Family Member in the Program

Having a family member dealing with alcoholism can be difficult. However, the right love and support from family members can make a massive difference.

Keyword(s): family member

Did you know that over 6% of adults in America suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD)? 

That's about one in 25 women and one in 12 men. 

These odds make it likely that you have a friend or family member dealing with alcoholism. If you've landed here today, you're wondering how you can be there for them—a great first step. How else can you support a loved one in the program or in recovery?

Keep reading as we discuss ways to offer love and support to someone in AA.

Learn About AUD

Alcohol use disorder is defined as "uncontrolled and problematic drinking." It can range from mild to moderate or severe.

Different people require different kinds of treatment. A health professional can assess drinking patterns or behaviors to see where your family member is on the scale. The amount of support they have from loved ones plays into their treatment plan.

Having an understanding of what your family member is going through can help you better empathize and understand them. In turn, you'll be able to provide support from an educated place rather than an emotional one. You'll also realize the recovery process takes work and time—it's not an instant solution.

Attend a Group Meeting With Them or on Your Own

One way to support your loved one in recovery is by physically being there for them.

Maybe you can attend an Alcoholics Anonymous or support group meeting with them. This, too, provides you with more insight into the disease of alcoholism. It also shows your loved one that you care enough to be present.

You can also attend support groups on your own, such as Al-Anon, a program specifically designed for the friends, family, and loved ones of an alcoholic. Al-Anon provides support and coping mechanisms, and it also acts as a mirror to your behaviors. You might see how your interactions are hurting rather than helping—and how you can adopt a healthier way to deal with those challenges. 

Spend Time With Your Family Member

Something as simple as spending time with your loved one can make a significant difference in their recovery.

It's important not to enable your loved one during your time together. It's also crucial to stay sober—avoiding time spent in bars or places that are triggering for your family member. Instead, consider doing activities, taking up hobbies, getting outside, or just talking about something they enjoy.

Encourage your loved one to stay healthy—from eating and sleeping well to getting exercise and maintaining friendships. During your time together, take their feelings seriously. Show them that their emotions are important to you.

Celebrate Their Achievements 

Finally, encourage them to keep going by celebrating all wins—big or small.

If your family member hits a milestone, like thirty days sober, congratulate them! Attend a meeting with them, take a stroll through the park, or have a nutritious meal. Tokens or recovery coins are another fantastic way to symbolize progress.

Click here to browse our variety of AA tokens, guaranteed to make your loved one feel proud. They deserve it!