Top 5 Tips For Helping An Alcoholic Relative

Posted by on July 20, 2019 in Stuff with 0 Comments

If you have a relative who is an alcoholic, you’re not alone. Alcoholism is a major issue in America, with over fifteen million people over the age of 18 suffering from alcoholism according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

When a person is an alcoholic, it means that they have both an emotional and physical dependence on alcohol, and have great difficulty in controlling their drinking habits. This can naturally cause problems in both their professional and personal lives.

Yes, some alcoholics can still function properly while dealing with their drinking problem (these kinds of people are referred to as ‘high functioning alcoholics’), but even so that doesn’t mean that it’s an issue that should go untreated.

If you have a relative or loved one with an alcoholism disorder and you want to lend your help, you’ll want to pay close attention to what you are about to read.

Here are the top five tips for helping an alcoholic relative:

Tip #1 – Share Your Concerns

The first thing you should do is to share your concerns and your reasons for those concerns to your relatives. It’s important to no do so in a way that expresses anger or is confrontational.

You also want to wait or the right time and place, and speak while being calm and compassion. For each of the concerns that you share, you need to also share your reasons for those concerns; doing so will make you seem less judgmental.

Tip #2 – Practice What You Will Say

Before you do share your concerns with your relative, it would be wise first to practice and even rehearse out loud to yourself what you will say.

When practicing, you will want to be careful that you avoid the use of the word ‘you’ and instead often use the word ‘I.’ Doing so will make you seem far less judgmental.

You also want to prepare yourself for likely responses from your relative. No matter what their reaction is, you should remain very calm and be respectful.

Tip #3 – Find Outside Support Groups

You can’t force your relative to join an outside alcoholic support group such as attending an Al-Anon meeting. But what you can do is a least research them and inform them about them.

Remember that interventions are different than simply approaching somebody with your concerns. This is because interventions are much more involving and will necessitate very careful planning not only from you but from other people who are involved as well.

Tip #4 – Keep Your Support Going

 It could be that your relative absolutely opposes going into an alcoholic treatment program or support group of any kind. If so, that’s their decision, and you cannot force them to go into one, nor should you coerce them into doing it either. If they join a group, it should be because it’s their decision.

But just because your relative refuses outside help does not mean that you should not keep lending your support. The least that you can do is to keep helping out. Be as sincere, empathetic, and non-judgmental as you can.

A good piece of advice will be to imagine yourself in the same situation. What if you were the alcoholic? How would you want to be approached in regards to the issue from your own family? 

Tip #5 – Look After Your Own Well-Being

Finally, remember that you cannot neglect yourself and you have to keep your physical and emotional health a priority. Watching a close family member struggle with alcoholism is going to be very stressful, especially if they are a spouse, parent, child, or sibling.

But the worse you are off physically and mentally to yourself, the worse you’re going to be for your relative as well. It may be appropriate to seek your own support group of people like you trying to help their own resistant alcoholic family members.

Helping Your Alcoholic Family Member

It will be a massive and very positive achievement to convince your relative or loved one to seek help for drinking problem.

But of course, it’s not up to you in regards to whether your relative will indeed overcome their problem, and in the end, it’s on them. The only thing that you can do is offer your support and be there when you need them, and in order to accomplish that, you’ll need to keep the above five tips in mind.

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