In the United States alone, approximately 15.1 million people suffer from alcoholism and being their support isn’t easy for anyone.
However, just because it isn’t easy doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to support someone with a drinking problem.
If you are in need of helpful advice, then here are some ways you can support your loved one.
Understand the Drinking Problem
Before we tell you of the ways you can support your loved one, it is crucial that you know what you’re helping them fight.
It’s important to remember that alcohol addiction is classified as a mental illness. There is debate over this classification, but that’s a topic for another time.
Like any disease, it has symptoms to watch out for.
When supporting your loved one watch for signs of blackouts, cravings, aggression, changes in mood, etc.
Knowledge is half the battle for your loved one’s drinking problem.
Now let’s talk about what you can do with your knowledge.
1. Be Supportive
The battle against substance abuse can be long and tiring. Standing by your loved one’s side and making sure they aren’t alone makes that battle easier.
Make sure the person you care for knows that aren’t alone.
Hang out when you can by going to the movies.
When a substance abuse meeting comes up, go with them as their support.
Most importantly, be patient with them. The recovery process is lengthy, and some people battle substance abuse their entire lives.
However, don’t become codependent while being supportive.
Standing by your loved one’s side is very different from ignoring their problems.
If you find that you’re cleaning up after them or covering for them, then you need to step back and assess the situation.
Ignoring their drinking problem because it makes them happy, will only make the problem worse.
2. Support Yourself Too
Supporting someone is often stressful; especially, when times are tough for you already.
Don’t forget that you need someone supporting you too.
Whenever you feel helpless or need to talk to someone, contact your family and friends. Having your own support group allows you to do your best for your loved one.
Take the time to relax and unwind yourself if you’re stressed. Staying stressed will only cause health and temperament problems that neither you nor your loved one needs.
3. Alcohol-Free Homes
A big worry for people recovering from a drinking problem is their strength of will. The strength to resist temptation when it stares at them in the face.
Having alcohol in their home is a temptation that they will have to face every day.
You can help them by removing all of the substance from their environment.
If the alcohol isn’t there to begin with, it won’t tempt them as much.
When you go outside with your loved one, try to avoid public places that serve alcohol or display it prominently.
Of course, such an option isn’t always available, and you’ll just have to help your loved one stay strong.
4. Start Something New Together
A great way to support someone recovering from their drinking problem is by starting up a new activity or hobby.
Give your loved one something to look forward to each week or even each day.
Think of activities that you can do for a long time together, something that you can incorporate into a routine that will keep their mind off alcohol.
Try a sport, take up running, start a new project, or learn how to make pottery!
Find something that interests you both so you can put your all into it.
5. Watch out for Relapses
Look for warning signs of your loved one relapsing on their recovery process.
If relapsing does occur, approach them calmly with your concern about the issue. You don’t want to come off as threatening or demoralizing when you talk about your concerns for them.
Try to encourage your loved one to speak with a therapist or a sponsor.
You may even want to recommend they look into places such as Chateau Recovery to help them get back on track with their recovery.
While recovering, your loved one may decide to make changes to their life and lifestyle.
While these changes may seem strange to you, it’s okay to not always understand them so long as you are willing to accept them.
Also, don’t forget to take care of yourself along the way. Staying positive that things will get better can make all the difference for you and your loved one.
If you ever need any more advice, then check us out and what we have to offer.