woman wonders how to help an alcohol family member

The 5 Things You Need to Know to Help an Alcoholic

Is your loved one falling down that slippery slope into the depths of alcoholism? Now, what may have started innocently is now impacting their job, family, and health. Figuring out how to help an alcoholic isn’t easy. But there are effective ways to help and get them into an alcohol addiction treatment center in Connecticut. Here’s what you need to know.

1. How to Clearly Define Alcoholism

It’s not always easy to know where to draw the line. They have good and bad days. They may think they have it under control.

So when does drinking become alcoholism?

A person is considered to have alcoholism when they have a physical or psychological dependence on alcohol. At this point, they cannot quit even if they see the damage it may be doing to finances, relationships, career, and health.

Alcoholism can range from mild to severe. And how to help an alcoholic is to intervene sooner rather than later.

2. Learn the Signs

Those who are falling into alcohol addiction typically show specific patterns. And learning how to help an alcoholic requires you to recognize those signs like:

  • Saying, “It’s not a party if there’s no alcohol.”
  • Not being able to relax, sleep or socialize without alcohol
  • Missing work, school or an important social event because of a hangover or drinking on more than one occasion
  • Talking about drinking without getting drunk as a waste of alcohol
  • Inability to stop drinking when the social event is over
  • Frequently saying “I’m going to quit” but never following through despite the detrimental impact on their life

3.  Get Informed About Treatment Options & How to Help an Alcoholic

A professional will help your loved one understand what level of treatment they need. But getting informed about what’s available empowers you to help your loved one.

Some common treatment options include:

You also have treatments specifically designed for men, women, LGBTQ+, teens, and anyone needing a dual diagnosis treatment program. Considering these things can help figure out how to help an alcoholic most effectively.

4. Know That A Person Is Not Their Addiction

The words we use matter. We’ve used the word “alcoholic” here to make a point. But merely calling a person an “alcoholic” suggests that alcoholism defines their life. Your loved one is more than their addiction. Learning how to help an alcoholic requires you to see through the alcoholic behavior to the person they really are and can be again when they escape the hold that alcohol has on their life.

A person with a substance abuse disorder is no longer in control of the situation. They may want to quit, but the alcohol makes the decisions for them.

5. Plan An Intervention

You may have begged them to quit before. But this time must be different. Write down what you’re going to say. And get other loved ones involved. The intervention team should be large enough to show the person that they are loved but not so large or broad that they feel ganged up on.

Never stage an intervention when a person is likely to be using alcohol.

Try to avoid shame and blame. Your loved one probably already feels very ashamed even if they hide it. Instead, focus on how you feel about what they are doing, not who they are. Express that you care about them and yourself. And for that reason, you must keep yourself and any children involved safe.

Express that you and the others with you will help them get into treatment. Each of you should give them specific consequences if they choose not to get help. These may include things like:

  • No longer offering financial support
  • Moving out or giving them a date they must leave if you live together
  • Cutting off communication

How to help an alcoholic is making sure they know that if they don’t get into rehab, their life will completely change from this moment forward.

Follow Through

Finally, follow through. Stick to the consequences stated in the intervention and meet with the intervention team after the meeting to keep everyone on the same page and informed. Immediately, get your loved one into a detox center where they can begin their journey toward recovery.

Is addiction controlling your loved one’s life and destroying yours in the process? Getting into rehab can completely change your lives. Reach out to Washburn House at 855.298.3104 to speak with a knowledgeable and compassionate professional.

Scroll to Top