How to Help an Alcoholic

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You have stood back and watched as your adult son has let his life spiral out of control because drinking has taken over his life. You know it has been rough with the youngest child being diagnosed with a chronic illness and how his reduction of hours at work has affected his finances. He has been drinking more to deal with it all, leaving the stress of taking care of the family to his wife. He is now creating messes for her to clean up, like his recent suspension from work due to not showing up on time, leaving her to deal with financial issues on her own. You try to be a good mom and not interfere, but the last straw was the DUI he just received after attending his friend’s birthday party.

Is it really alcohol use disorder (AUD)?

You do not want to make a fuss or find out that you are overreacting to a situation of which you don’t know the whole story. It could be nothing more than just a drinking to the point of inebriation during a stressful time. Does he drink like this consistently? People with AUD don’t drink in moderation. You may not be able to recognize some of the following signs, such the fighting of cravings, but you will recognize enough. So, what criteria does the world of psychology consider to determines if someone is an alcoholic?

The level of severity of AUD is determined based on the following:

What should I know before I intervene in an alcoholic’s life?

Deciding that it’s time to step in can be difficult. Your main goal is to help that person. You only want to see them as happy and healthy as they used to be, but they most likely will not see it that way. They may lack the skills necessary to cope with the situations that life is handing them. They may also have a mental illness that would benefit from the assistance of medical professionals. The majority of them do not have the insight to recognize the severity of their issues, and that’s hard for even the healthiest of individuals in today’s society. Approaching them in anger will not produce the desired result, so making sure that you are also in the right mental space is helpful. There are things that you can do to help the one you love, and they include:

Aftercare and maintenance are where you are going to be of great assistance. If you have laid the groundwork to establish that you are a reliable source of support throughout the entire process, they will seek your support when they are having a hard time coping. One of the hardest things to do in life is to watch someone you love hurt themselves, mentally and physically. If they have hurt you in the process as well, it may require a great deal of forgiveness on your part; however, the benefits that you reap may be well worth the effort that you put into it. Relationships are what make living the human experience worthwhile. They help us evolve as individuals and teach us how to improve our beliefs in the process. Helping a loved one return to the life they used to find fulfilling can be a difficult but satisfying path.