Thousands of people deal with alcohol addiction themselves or stand by as someone in their family is struggling with an addiction. One thing that’s crucial to remember is that addiction doesn’t just affect the person who is addicted to alcohol.
Over time, it impacts the entire family and can cause a cycle of codependency and resentment to begin building between family members. If you’ve found yourself reaching a point where you can’t stand by anymore and do nothing, you’ve come to the right place.
Below you’ll find a brief guide detailing some steps you need to take to get help or get your loved one the help they need.
Be honest and ask for help
When you have an alcohol addiction problem admitting that you’ve lost control of your drinking can bring on a lot of shame and guilt. However, if you want to truly turn over a new leaf in life, the first thing you’ve got to do to be open to receiving help comes to terms with the fact that you require it.
Trust us; no one in your family will judge you for it. In fact, they’re going to be grateful that you’re taking the time to reach out for help because even if help is pushed on you by your family, they can’t make you receptive to the help.
If you’re a family member and want to offer your loved one help, you’ve got to understand how to start the conversation. Of course, you can learn more about addiction. That is beneficial to understand what your loved one is going through and the type of support they will need moving forward with their recovery treatment.
One key thing to hold onto when your loved one asks for help is to not bombard them with your thoughts at that moment. They’re about to enter a vulnerable time, and they need to be supported as they continue taking steps to seek help.
Receive help for the family
As we mentioned, the person who is addicted to alcohol isn’t the only person dealing with the addiction. People in the family might find themselves taking on various positions within the addiction cycle.
One of the first ones is codependency, which often shows itself in the parents or siblings of the person addicted to alcohol. While the parents or siblings don’t want to give them money or a place to sleep, they can’t bare the idea of leaving their loved ones without a place to go.
The family will need treatment so they can learn how to take care of themselves. For instance, the family members will learn how to set boundaries and stick to them whether the addicted loved one completes treatment or relapses.
It’s crucial to understand how to uphold boundaries; otherwise, the family will succumb to the same cycle over again. Doing something like this will continue perpetuating a destructive cycle in the family.
Gather information and educate yourself
The best way to get help for a loved one dealing with alcohol addiction is to educate yourself as much as possible. The more educated you are, the better off you’ll be when offering support to your loved one.
Another reason to get educated as someone seeking help is that you need to know what the treatment facility where you’re getting help from offers. Do they offer services that cover alcohol addiction?
What are their success rates for others that have gone there for treatment help? You don’t just want to seek treatment from the first place that appears in your search engine because it might not be the place that is right for you.
Another common reason for family members to continue educating themselves about addiction is that it’s hard to understand why someone dealing with it can’t just quit. However, addiction education will teach what alcohol can do to the brain and how it changes the internal balance of the body.
This makes it more apparent why someone can’t just stop and, in some cases, why stopping cold turkey would be detrimental to their health.
Helping a loved one: addiction is a family disease
When it comes to alcohol addiction and any other type of addiction, it affects more than just one person. It’s something that can cause a family to hold its breath, waiting to see what could or will happen to their loved one if they continue living the same way.
The first step in seeking help is being open to help and keeping an open mind when your loved one comes to you during a vulnerable time. It also helps to educate yourself as much as possible, so you know what you’re dealing with in and outside treatment.