If you don’t how to act towards a loved one who has a drinking problem, or you are not sure if it is really a problem, here are some tips to guide you.
To determine whether a person has a drinking problem, it is not necessary to look at the amount of alcohol consumed or the frequency with which the person drinks. You just need to see how it affects the person’s life and behavior. If this causes a person to have problems at work, at home, at school, or affects relationships, or causes them to miss important activities as a result of their alcohol use, it is a sign of a problem.
However, in general, people suffering from alcoholism tend not to accept their problem. That’s why the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s website, MedlinePlus, points out that “it may take a few tries and several conversations before your loved one agrees to seek help.” But there are many places you can go, such as your family’s health care provider, which can help you find a specialist or an addiction treatment program.
The website also advises people to be part of the process by showing support. “Offer to accompany your loved one to doctor’s appointments or meetings. Ask what else you can do, such as not drinking when you’re together and trying to keep the house free of alcohol,” states the publication.
It’s also worth clarifying certain actions you shouldn’t do like drinking with your loved one, taking charge of their responsibilities, not arguing with them while you’ve been drinking, or feeling guilty. Instead, here are some recommendations for facilitating communication with that person:
- Express your feelings about your loved one’s drinking. This keeps the focus on how their drinking affects you.
- Explain that you are concerned about your loved one’s health.
- Do not lecture or preach.
- Do not try to use guilt or bribe the person to stop drinking.
- Do not threaten or beg.
- Offer to accompany the person to see a doctor or addiction counselor.
Continue reading: Focus on alcoholism