Struggling with alcoholism can be damaging to not just the alcoholic, but also to their family, friends and loved ones. Witnessing someone you care about battle alcoholism can be frustrating and painful. It can be especially hard to understand how to help an alcoholic when you have never experienced addiction. Luckily, we have a recover-safe program that can help get you started.
You may feel hopeless and powerless watching someone you care about to descend into alcoholism, but there are ways you can help. If you know what the signs of alcoholism are, you can begin the first steps in helping them receive help. It can be hard to know exactly how to help an alcoholic. With compassion, understanding and healthy boundaries, you can ensure that your life remains stable while helping your loved one find help.
What Are the Signs of Alcoholism?
If you are living with and are wondering how to help an alcoholic, you need to know the signs of alcoholism. Alcoholism can lead to significant personality changes, such as increased anger or aggressiveness. Alcohol can increase irritability, which can result in more arguments, conflicts, and violence. Alcohol lowers inhibitions. Thus, you are more likely to partake in risky behaviors, such as fights when you are intoxicated. Some other signs of alcoholism include:
- Needing to start drinking after waking up
- Being unable to stop drinking on your own
- Having legal problems related to drinking, such as DUIs
- Inability to stop drinking once you start
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking
- Drinking in inappropriate or dangerous situations
Alcoholism can also increase the likelihood that you will experience domestic violence and can damage and end relationships and marriages. To keep you and your loved one safe, it is recommended you visit a drug and alcohol rehab center to get the help your family deserves.
How to Help an Alcoholic
Finding a way to help an alcoholic can be overwhelming, especially if you have never experienced addiction. It is important to establish healthy boundaries, so you don’t become co-dependent or enable their drinking. Codependency is where one individual in a relationship relies on the other to satisfy most of their emotional needs. It is an enabling type of behavior. One individual is allowed to be irresponsible while the other feels themselves constantly making sacrifices. However, codependency isn’t a one-way interaction. Instead, both individuals in the relationship encourage the other’s bad habits. There are some very clear signs you may be in a codependent relationship, such as:
- People-pleasing: An inability or unwillingness to say ‘No’ to people. People-pleasers go out of their way to accommodate others. However, this is rarely done for selfless reasons. Rather, people-pleasing is a kind of passive-aggressive manipulation.
- Poor boundaries: Both too rigid and too weak of boundaries is unhealthy. Weak boundaries are when you feel overly responsible for other’s issues. But being too closed off or withdrawn is also unhealthy because it prevents intimacy.
- Control: In codependency, people feel the need to control those close to them and force them to behave in a certain way.
- Dysfunctional communication: Individuals in a codependent relationship aren’t able to clearly communicate their feelings to others or themselves. This leads to dishonesty and confusion.
Encouraging a loved one to attend a treatment program can be difficult but sharing with them the importance of treatment can help. Treatment greatly improves recovery outcomes. People attending structured programs are more likely to maintain long term sobriety.
Get the Support You Need From Victory Bay
Outpatient treatment can help your loved one find help while maintaining their personal, familial and employment obligations. Outpatient programs offer flexibility to balance your recovery with other commitments. Most outpatient programs meet for at least three days a week. They provide you with a few different types of therapy:
Additionally, group therapy can help you find a support network and identify with others who share your same struggles.
If you are struggling with how to help an alcoholic, the best way to help your loved one recover is by encouraging them to reach out for treatment. Victory Bay Recovery, which has the best outpatient alcohol addiction treatment South Jersey offers, boasts the experience and understanding needed to help you overcome alcoholism. If you would like to learn more about how our premier outpatient programs can help you or a loved one find recovery, call us today at 855.259.1624.