How to Help a Loved One With Alcohol Dependency

How to Help a Loved One With Alcohol Dependency | HealthSoul

Alcohol is usually thought of as a social lubricant, something to enjoy with friends, and a good way to enjoy friends’ company. The problem is that alcohol also has the power to hurt the people who drink it too often and hurt the people around those people as well.

The term for this is alcohol dependency, or sometimes alcohol abuse. Whatever you want to call it, alcohol also has the potential to destroy relationships, jobs, motivation, and ultimately lives. If you know someone who is struggling with alcohol dependency but you do not know how to help, here is some useful advice.

Find a Support Group or Rehabilitation

Sometimes it may be too much for you to handle and you are not sure how to help, which is why there are plenty of rehab centers or support groups out there. According to Coastline Behavioral Health, one of the best approaches to look for is one that focuses on sustainable rehabilitation. Some groups or programs are hard for alcohol dependents to live without because they need constant support, whereas the right program or group should provide the help that this loved one can rely on from themselves. Of course, you should always support them, but it is most important that they find the tools to succeed on their own eventually.

Replace Bad Habits With Healthy Alternatives

The term addictive personality is misleading because it is partially correct but also wrong. An addictive personality is actually a genetic cause for why you want to indulge in something, and even then, there are more reasons for addiction beyond just that. When you know someone you love is struggling to kick their dependency on alcohol, it is important to show them the healthy alternatives to drinking. Some alternatives are drinks they can enjoy, non-alcoholic versions of wine or beer, coffee, tea, kombucha, or sparkling water. Lifestyle changes like hobbies such as sports and exercise, reading and journaling, arts and crafts, and any number of productive pastime that will help them thrive without the need to drink.

Show Care and Love

Many people who are dependent on substances can feel like they are a burden to their family or friends and they perceive that they should not be loved because of this. Showing them the care and love that they need when they feel they do not deserve it will help show them that you are not blaming them for their problem and that you want them to get help.

Show Care and Love

It is crucial that you and other loved ones do not pass blame or guilt, or try to shame them for their current situation. It is a problem that many people deal with and you want to show them you understand, or at least show empathy.

Make Them Feel Included

Providing inclusion for your loved one is not the same as showing care and love. Inclusion means bringing them out with you to events, hanging out with them, and generally making them feel like they are doing everything they would normally do. The exception is not doing things that involve alcohol. If you go to a social setting with them, they may be tempted to drink, which is understandable. The way you can support them is by not drinking and showing them that you are willing to put their needs ahead of the minor things that you enjoy. Alcohol dependency can make a person retreat and sink into depression, so you need to make sure that they know you are present and encouraging of them being with you.

Do Your Research on Alcohol Dependency

While the condition may seem very straight-forward, someone needing to drink or feeling the pressure to drink when they can is a complex mental health issue. As mentioned, part of this is due to genetic conditions that make people more prone to addictive tendencies, but this is not a universal cause. There are some people who drink to relax their nerves because of anxiety or social inadequacies, some people drink to fit in and consume too much, some people drink because they want to forget memories. Everyone who suffers from alcohol dependency is going through a different struggle, so you need to do your research on what the causes are, health implications, and learn from your loved one on what they struggle with and their personal reason for drinking.

Alcohol dependency is the nasty dark side of drinking that many of us tend to ignore or pretend does not exist, but for those that suffer from it, there is no way to ignore it. This issue is a problem that can be treated, and if you have a loved one, you can use this advice to help you and them, on the journey towards recovery.