Is somebody you care about drinking excessively? Do you know how to get an alcoholic to stop drinking?
Trying to deal with a loved one’s alcoholism or alcohol abuse can be difficult and painful for the entire family. This is because alcoholism affects more than just the person suffering from an alcohol use disorder (AUD). The dynamics of the family, as well as its physical and mental health, finances, and general stability are all affected.
The domestic environment is frequently tense and difficult to predict. Family members may attempt to deny the drinker’s behavioral patterns, find excuses for them, or regulate or stop them. These are all normal reactions to a life at home that feels out of control.
Although it is up to the individual to willingly begin their sobriety journey, you can also assist. Continue reading to learn the best way to get an alcoholic to stop drinking.
1. Recognize Signs of a Problem
Alcohol is a legal and socially acceptable drink for an adult to enjoy. However, the effects of alcohol vary from one person to another. It is also difficult to tell when a person’s alcohol use crosses the line.
However, your loved ones may have a drinking problem if:
• Regularly neglect their responsibilities
• Drink more than recommended
• Lie about how much they are drinking
• Forget what they did when drinking
• Continue using alcohol even when it is causing problems in their relationship
• Use alcohol to self-medicate
If you recognize such warning signs from your loved ones, the first thing to do is learn about addiction and alcohol abuse. You can also research various treatment and self-help options available to them.
2. Talk to Them About Their Drinking
It can be challenging to talk with someone about their drinking behavior. You may be worried that alcohol abusers will get angry, defensive, or even deny having a problem. Though their reaction might not be pleasing, avoiding saying anything will only make things worse.
Your loved one’s drinking isn’t likely to end on their own until you speak up. Also, remember that you can’t force an alcoholic to quit alcohol abuse; the choice is in their hands.
When talking to a loved one about their drinking, make sure to:
• Choose a time a loved one is not drinking
• Be open and honest about your concerns
• Encourage your loved ones to be open about their alcohol abuse
• Consider a family meeting or intervention
When talking to a loved one about their drinking problem, remember not to:
• Take any adverse reactions personally
• Threaten, bribe, punish or give ultimatums
• Cover-up a loved one
• Blame yourself for your loved drinking problem
3. Encourage Them to Get Help
Help an alcoholic to stop drinking by offering the needed support and resources. Though a loved one may not require medical supervision to withdraw safely, they may still require your support and guidance on quitting drinking.
Encourage a loved one to get help by:
• Accompanying them to doctor appointments, counseling sessions, or group meeting
• Being by their side while they call a helpline
• Making a detailed plan with them on changes to make and how
Remember to continue supporting your loved one even after agreeing to seek help. The recovery process may be extended and may require patience.
Don’t expect your loved ones to turn into different people when they get sober. They will likely face new challenges, including the problems that led them to alcohol abuse. They will also have to figure how to live without alcohol.
4. Consider Treatment Options
You can consider the best treatment option for a loved one depending on the depth of their drinking problem, their living situation, and the health risks they are facing.
A primary care doctor or GP can help in evaluating your loved one’s drinking patterns and overall health. A GP can also provide treatment referrals and, when needed, and also prescribe medication approved to treat alcohol abuse.
Attending group meetings can also help an alcoholic stop drinking. Such meetings allow your loved one spends time with people facing similar problems. Group meetings help alcoholics not feel isolated and equip them with advice on staying sober.
Family therapy sessions can also help your loved one identify the root cause of their alcohol abuse. Family therapy sessions may help repair a damaged relationship, find ways to stop or reduce drinking.
A rehab facility can also help your loved one to get out of alcohol abuse and addiction. Your loved one may be required to reside in a special facility for up to 90 days. In that period, they receive specialized services that include detox, therapy, and medication.
You can look here for more information about treatment options.
5. Support Your Loved One During Treatment
The road to recovery from alcoholism can be bumpy and frustrating. Half of those who undergo alcohol abuse treatment return to drinking at some point. Thus, don’t be frustrated when a loved one relapses in alcoholism.
Some people may require more than one treatment to achieve sobriety. You thus need to be patient and supportive of your loved one’s recovery. You can help stop drinking alcohol by:
• Encouraging a loved one to find new interests
• Suggesting some social activities not involving drinking
• Helping them cope with stress
• Helping them cope with triggers
Though your loved one may relapse to abusing alcohol, always keep in mind, ‘it isn’t your fault.’ You need to encourage the person to reconsider overcoming their drinking problem and seek support again.
You Now Know How to Get an Alcoholic to Stop Drinking
Getting a loved one to stop abusing alcohol may be emotionally disturbing and can even affect your health, outlook, and wellbeing. It is essential to learn how to get an alcoholic to stop drinking while prioritizing your safety and health.
You can get the support needed when dealing with alcoholics through a support group or your faith community. Also, listening to other people facing similar challenges may equip you with new techniques for dealing with an addict.
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