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How to Help a Loved One Who Is Showing Signs of Alcoholism

If you notice that a loved one may be drinking too much, you may need to take action. Alcohol dependence can be devastating and lead to serious health consequences.

However, approaching the person you love about their alcohol consumption requires sensitivity. You’ll want to consider their feelings and broach the subject when they are sober. Here are a few tips to consider if you’d like to help someone who is struggling with a substance use disorder.

1. Try to Set a Time to Talk to Them When You Know They Will Be Sober

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Someone who is suffering from alcoholism will still have times when they are sober. This may be when they return home from work, or it may be in the morning. If you’re close to them, you’ll likely know when they are most approachable. This is when you should try to speak with them regarding their alcohol use.

Before talking to them, plan what you intend to say. You should avoid any accusations. Things you may express include:

  • Your concern for their physical and mental health
  • Any considerations about issues with relationships
  • Recommendations for alcohol addiction treatment

If your loved one’s substance use has become a serious problem, you’ll likely have witnessed situations where they harmed themselves or even harmed others through words or actions. You may bring up a few of these examples if you feel it would be helpful or give more weight to the discussion.

2. Ask Other Relatives or Friends to Support You

If you have mutual relatives or friends, you may want to ask them to be present for the discussion. This is especially important if they have also seen your loved one abusing alcohol and are aware of the severity of the problem.

Make sure that any friends or relatives you ask for support have a strong relationship with your loved one. You don’t want to choose someone whom they don’t like or don’t respect.

Anyone who is present at the discussion should know what you plan to say and be able to support you with their own observations of your loved one.

3. Understand How Alcohol Dependence Works

While you don’t need to have a medical degree on the subject, you should understand that most people who have a substance use disorder, including alcohol dependence, can’t just simply stop. It’s important not to blame them for their addiction.

If the addiction has progressed significantly, they may need medical support for serious withdrawal symptoms. To be prepared, you might read about alcohol dependence or ask for support from an alcohol addiction treatment center before speaking to your loved one.

Do You Think Someone You Love May Need Alcohol Addiction Treatment?

If someone you care about is showing signs of alcohol dependence, they may need to seek treatment. At 2nd Chance Clinic, we offer medications, counseling and intensive therapy for those who want to overcome an addiction to alcohol. We support patients in and around Lexington, KY, and Somerset, KY. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.