Seeing a loved one, a friend, a family member, or a co-worker struggle with alcohol addiction can be tough. That holds especially true when day by day, you see how the person is potentially destroying his life. Sometimes, you can’t help but think of ways to help him cope.
But, what is alcohol addiction or alcoholism? It’s an attribution used to describe someone who is struggling with alcohol abuse. A person with alcoholism exudes both physical and psychological inclination to alcohol. He may have an uncontrolled habit of drinking alcohol or chooses to drink despite knowing the repercussions. The associated problems of such may affect their personal lives in terms of relationship, work, mental, and psychological state. Even their health may be in peril.
Every alcoholic person starts by developing mild habits and patterns. If left unchecked, that progresses into more severe complications. Of course, there are ways to help a person cope and overcome. But while it is imperative that a person acknowledges his addiction and decides to act on such, you can also provide much-needed support. Every form of abuse can be dealt with effectively with a friend, a brother, or anyone who shows genuine and committed desire to help.
Now, here are some ways on how you can show support and help someone struggling with alcoholism.
Before lending a hand, you must first assess whether your loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction or not. Alcoholism is not merely the habit of drinking and drinking from time to time.
Some people do that as a coping mechanism or as a means of social participation. People who abuse alcohol would say that they only drink in moderation, though in reality, they douse themselves every time they get the chance. The point is, it is sometimes hard to detect whether a person is addicted to alcohol or not.
That’s why it matters that you’re aware and you understand the different facets of alcoholism such as symptoms, potential causes, effects, and others. Through that, you will be able to assess a person accurately and then, that’s the time you can act.
Fortunately, there are tons of references out there about alcoholism. Every basic that you need to know are all online. But of course, you need to be careful when researching. Make sure that you are only subscribing to credible and reputable sources/websites.
I would suggest that you look at government and program websites. Some of these even offer free step-by-step tutorials.
Pick the Right Words and Expressions
When dealing with someone struggling with alcoholism, using the right words and expressions is imperative. Your choice of such could make the person motivated to cope and overcome. But it could also make the person feel frustrated, thus, worsening the addiction.
That is why make the person feel that you are genuinely committed to helping him through your words. In other words, make use of words/expressions that would make him feel that he is not alone. That there you are to journey with him towards healing.
So, how can you do that?
First, avoid using negative, hurtful, and presumptuous statements. For instance. Refrain from expressions like, “You will continue to suffer if you drink alcohol,” or “You will never achieve your dreams if you remain addicted.” Not only do these instill fear but also reactivate negativity on the mind of the person. Instead of seeing the light out of his struggle, he will only get drawn to negativity, therefore, deepening his alcoholism.
Rather, you should formulate statements that highlight positivity and support. For example. Try saying words like, “I will always be here for you,” “You are not alone in your struggle,” and “You are loved no matter what.”
Sometimes, you don’t have to say many words to express your support. Just a bit of these loving expressions can make all the difference. As you continue to shower the person with such kind of words, eventually, he will realize the need to change. And your words will give him the boost to be the change.
Also, avoid using “You” statements because it only makes the person feel accused or judged. Instead, make use of “I.” This not only lets you be a sincere participant in the conversation but also helps in unraveling a specific concern.
For instance, instead of saying, “You should not have tasted the alcohol in the first place,” say this, “I would commit my time to help you cope because I care so much for you.” By using “I,” you also get to show the person that you also have brokenness in some ways. Eventually, he will be able to relate and connect with you.
Well, of course, you must be prepared for whatever response or reaction. Just be at ease and ensure that you are the person whom he can rely upon support.
Time and place matters when setting a meetup. Make sure to discuss in a place that is conducive for a peaceful and reflective moment. Go to a quiet park, a room, or under the shade of a tree where you can both share and listen to one another without interruptions. In that way, you can also have each other’s full attention. It is also essential to ensure that the person is not bothered or preoccupied with other matters. In other words, the person should be in moderate condition.
If your loved one does struggle with alcohol addiction, the best thing you can do is to be sincere and honest with them. Hoping or thinking that the person will change is not enough. You must make them feel and believe that there is a problem and that they need help. But then again, do it with compassion and gentleness.
For instance, tell your friend that you are concerned about his drinking habit and let him know that you are ready to offer support. Be ready to face negative backlash though. Prepare to get along with reluctance and hesitation to your recommendations. At first, the person may be defensive of his habit and may even react angrily to you. Don’t get carried by that. Give him space or time to think and reflect. Eventually, he will realize, make sound decisions, and listen to what you want to say.
It takes some time to encourage a person to proceed immediately with action steps. For example. You cannot just tell him to go into a rehabilitation center. Like I’ve said earlier, expect initial resistance and untoward reactions to you.
All you can do for a start is to offer your support. It’s up to the person if he’ll take your help or not. But of course, don’t give up. Pursue him indirectly with your compassion. Refrain from acts or words that will make him feel that you are aggressive and judgmental. Place yourself in his shoes and imagine what your reaction might be.
Of course, you can also seek support from family members and friends who may want to help.
Be consistent with all that until it comes to the point that the person will realize his need for healing/treatment. Even better, he might be convinced to visit a rehabilitation center such as the Detox of South Florida.