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How To Help An Alcoholic Family Member

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Watching a friend or family member lose themselves to alcohol addiction is difficult. Their use of alcohol may affect their ability to live responsibility and independently, and may put a strain on your relationship. You may be wondering if there is anything you can do to help an alcoholic family member. There is. But first, we want to make sure you understand that no one expects you to treat the family member you care about. That’s a task for the professionals. The best thing you can do is to help an alcoholic in your family is to recognize the issue, take the step to get professional help and support them through their recovery. 

Helping an Alcoholic Family Member

Before approaching your family member about addiction, you may want to take a moment to learn about alcohol addiction and whether that is truly what they are going through. If they got carried away with drinking too much for one night, they might need to learn a lesson, not professional treatment. However, if they drink habitually or if it gets in the way of their professional and/or personal life, they may be struggling with addiction. You’ll want to have a complete understanding of alcoholism so you know what you’re dealing with. Do some research online or talking with professionals.

If you’re suspicious that someone in your family has a drinking problem more than likely other people in their lives probably have the same suspicion. Make sure you talk with others in your family members life. Doing so may give your information that their drinking problem is not as bad as you think, or it maybe worse than you thought.

Talking to Your Family Member About Their Alcoholism

If you think the family member you care about is struggling with alcohol addiction, then the first thing you can do to help them is to talk to them about it. It’s a good idea to practice first what you want to say.

Talking to alcoholic family member who needs help with addiction can be emotional, and you may end up stumbling through what you want to say or even saying something negative or hurtful. Think about how you see their alcohol use affecting them or how it affects their relationship with you. Think about the symptoms of addiction and how you see them playing out in their life. These are the concerns your loved one may need to hear about.

Use more speech from your perspective when talking to them about their addiction and getting help. Rather than saying, “You have a problem,” which may sound aggressive and accusatory, you could say, “I love you and I am concerned that you’re drinking is hurting you.”

While we start the conversation with our family member, we want to make sure we are coming from a place of love rather then a place of anger. This will go along way as the family member who needs help will not feel as you’re attacking them.

Listening To The Alcoholic Family Member

If you approach your loved one with concern and ask them to listen to you as you tell them what you see and how it’s affecting you, you should be prepared to hear what they have to say as well. This can be hard because someone struggling with addiction can be resistant and in denial. They may even react angrily. It’s important to remember that they are going through a tough ordeal and that their anger is less personally directed toward you and more directed toward the threat of losing what they have been clinging to for relief. 

Listen to what they have to say, let them know you hear them, and try not to argue or talk over them. Your patience and understanding can go a long way in showing them that you support and care for them and have their best interests in mind.

Finding Treatment For Your Alcoholic Family Member

If your family member admits they have an alcohol problem and are ready to seek help, they will need your support. You can offer to help them find a treatment center and remain a source of support for them while they are in treatment and afterward. Your healthy involvement in their recovery can play a significant role in their ability to stay sober and take back control of their lives. Let’s take a look at different levels of care in an alcohol rehab center.

  • Medical Detox: There is a good chance if your loved one is drinking career is advanced that they will need a 7 day stay at a detox center. Alcoholics who have been drinking for an extended period of time can have severe withdrawal symptom’s that can be fatal and leave serious medical issues long-term. Detox is not “treating” any of the problems, but it will have the alcohol medically ready for treatment.
  • Residential Treatment: This is your standard 30 day rehab stay that everyone thinks of when you say “rehab.” Inpatient treatment is the foundation of recovery for someone wanting to live a life of sobriety. Traditionally at a residential treatment center you have have group therapy 8 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • Partial Hospitalization: At this level of care it allows you to live at home and drive into a rehab center to receive 6 hours of group therapy a day. Some may call it “day treatment” because you would be in treatment from 9am to 5pm but afterwards you would be able to go home.
  • Outpatient Treatment Programs: IOP or OP is the lowest level of care in treatment process. Outpatient was designed as a Stepdown process for someone that has completed higher levels of care. Outpatient treatment is very important as you reintegrate back into the real world after inpatient treatment to have a support system.

Alcohol Rehab In Murfreesboro, Tennessee

No one can overcome alcohol addiction on their own. They may need the help of professionals who are skilled in treating addiction and can help them manage any co-occurring mental health disorders that often fuel addiction. However, before all of that, they need you.

If someone you love or care about is struggling with alcohol addiction, the best time to help them is now. At Tulip Hill Recovery, we provide treatment for alcohol and substance addiction and manage any co-occurring mental health disorders. We’re here to talk if you have any questions about the process or how to talk to a loved one about getting help. Please contact us online or call us at 877-845-8192 to get in touch with our team and help the person you care about get the treatment they need.

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