It is devastating to watch someone you care about succumb to the control of alcohol. Many people simply warn that the alcoholic is on a path of self-destruction, or that this abusive behavior is tearing the family apart. The user, however, is already too deeply entrenched to care about the consequences to others.
Approach the Relationship Differently
If you are going to help the alcoholic, you will have to readjust your relationship in such a way that you motivate the user to seek professional help. Keep in mind that this person is in a state of denial about addiction. He or she must take the initial step of accepting the idea that there might actually be a problem. You can’t do this for them. The next step is for the user to consider that seeking professional assistance might actually be a good idea. For example, if you live on the east coast, finding a professional that does alcohol interventions in NJ could be extremely helpful.
Encouraging Responsible Behavior
Do not excuse any behavior that is caused by drinking. Don’t call in sick on a user’s behalf if he or she is too hung over to make it into work. Do not clean up after the alcoholic who vomits or becomes incontinent. This is not your responsibility; this is the user’s responsibility. Certainly never give money to drinkers and do not purchase alcohol for them. By enabling the alcoholic, you may delay an eventual bottom they must hit. Living in unhealthy conditions may not be acceptable to you therefore moving away from the alcoholic for a period of time may be required.
Focus on Effective Conversation
Always remember that the alcoholic needs to be the one to make the decision to seek help, but you can help bring that about by using a few simple conversation standards:
- Try to stay neutral when you talk with the user
- Do not directly disagree with his or her views
- Conversely, do not pretend you agree with this individual
- Ask open-ended questions that require more than yes or no answers
- Avoid making statements of fact whenever possible
Be prepared for resistance when the sensitive subject of alcohol recovery programs in NJ or away from your home state comes up. Let his or her negative comments roll off your back and avoid becoming defensive yourself. Try to encourage the alcoholic to seek outside help, always trying to make this person see the value of taking responsibility for his or her actions. Staging an intervention for alcoholics might be required to motivate the user. Encourage and support those directly affected like children, immediate family members and close personal friends as you are all victims in a common war against a ruthless enemy, Alcoholism.
Set Your Boundaries
Realize that subconscious influences are guiding the user’s actions. Exercise patience, but be prepared to set your own boundaries. You may have to discuss your limits with the alcoholic, and they amount to two decisions: either the user gets professional help or you leave the relationship. Do not make this an idle threat; be prepared to follow through. Always keep options in the back of your mind. Helping an alcoholic return to a clean, productive lifestyle often takes large helpings of tough love.