7 Steps to Help an Alcoholic

By Dorian Colson |
|5 min read

Most people find taking alcohol while resting or when conversing with friends just normal. To them, they cannot tell when one crosses the red line to alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is defined as taking more than one alcoholic drink in a day for women and more than two for men. Heavy alcohol taking is detrimental to human health. There are many diseases and organ damage cases attached to chronic alcohol abuse. Some of them are liver diseases, pancreatitis, cancer, brain damage, and lower body immunity.

How Can You Help an Alcoholic

Ideas on how to help an alcoholic are never simple. If a relative or a friend is suffering from alcoholism, your advice, care, and behavior will determine if they will stop or not. Although their personal conviction to stop is key, you may be able to influence it. Below are the steps to take:

1. Look for signs of alcoholism

Before taking any step, you must have concrete facts that your friend's or relative's alcohol taking habit has turned chronic. This can be done by getting answers to the following questions:

  • Is the victim fairing well at work?
  • How often are they found unconscious due to heavy drinking?
  • Have they ever been charged with fighting, breakages or any action due to alcoholism?
  • How much do they love drinking? Can they do without it or must they drink every day?
  • Do they have family feuds?

2. Practice what you are going to say

If you are planning to go meet an alcoholic friend, prior planning on how to handle the conversation or discussion is key. If possible, memorize some key questions to ask. This will help you avoid sounding like you are commanding or accusing. Every sentence should sound friendly and full of care. If possible ask a few friends whom you know will behave well and can structure their wordings for the very occasion.

3. Choose a right time and talk to the person

Talk to them when they are free and mentally not upset. Maybe engage them in the morning, in a calm place with no interruptions and where privacy can be observed. Let the conversation kick off and it should be as friendly as possible.

4. Try to understand the person and not force him/her

On how to help alcoholic, you ought to try and get it from them why they are drinking too much. If they open up, well and good. If not, show them how alcohol is not good for them. Pressing too hard, being judgmental, and nagging should be avoided. You can use alcoholic indications you have observed in them to elaborate on how alcohol is affecting them and their family. But avoid getting into an argument. Be polite and show them no matter what the problem is, whether it be work or relationship issues, too much alcohol is not the best problem-solving option. Help them to realize there are better ways to solve the situation and suggest some. Show them how productive they can be if they refrain from alcohol.

5. Involve a professional

Your effort in assisting an alcoholic friend might not turn positive. If such talks do not yield a good result, a therapist can greatly help. Their knowledge and experience will help them know the best way to handle defensive points and how to maneuver the discussion. Together with the therapist, you can think and formulate a nice plan to help an alcoholic friend.

6. Offer your support

Supportive acts are all you can do to help someone immersed in alcohol taking. It is not possible to force them. In case they want to refrain from alcohol taking, show them how proud you are regarding their decision. Lastly, do not drink around them. Such brings that feeling, "if you can do it why not I?”

7. Continue to be supportive throughout their recovery

Encourage them and let them know you are there for them. Try to make them comfortable and engaged in activities that show them how good it is to be free from alcohol. Be there for them until they fully recover.

Best Tips for Curbing Alcoholism Relapse

Steps on how to help an alcoholic do not end after the first recovery. Relapses often happen. That is why it is called "recovering alcoholics” and not "recovered”. Actions to avoid relapse (going back to drinking) are vital.

  • Keep away from triggers: If the alcoholic is to keep away from alcohol, then old habits and friends they went drinking with during addiction time need to be changed. Alcoholics should keep away from nightclubs and night parties since going there will expose them to the risk of drinking.

  • Make positive changes: The positive change means replacing old habits with new ones that are adding value to their life. If they used to take alcohol during free time, they can change that by utilizing their free doing things like guitar playing, going to the gym, undertaking charitable works, or other positive deeds that are not attached to alcohol.

  • Have a support network: People that the alcoholic surrounds themselves with can either trigger alcohol taking or contribute to helping an alcoholic habit stop. For the latter to happen, professional help like therapy, and hanging out with friends who do not take alcohol contributes much to keeping away from alcohol habits. Additionally, they can help remind the alcoholic of the positives of staying away from alcohol, and the negatives attached to drinking.

Being an active alcoholic is not something permanent and alcoholics can stop drinking with help. It is possible for an alcohol addict to desist from it completely. You can help someone to stop drinking, but the professional advice in deciding which among the above reference points to follow is crucial.



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