You’ve been watching your loved one for some time now. While they were once drinking to have fun or relieve stress, it seems like alcohol is now a crutch they use just to make it through the day. They might have lost their vigor for life, be performing poorly at work or school, or in some instances, even lashed out at you for no real reason.
This is a heartbreaking process to watch, but it’s not something you have to endure in silence. Use these steps to help your loved one get enrolled in a drug and alcohol detox program so they can start on the path to recovery.
Before you try to help your friend, you need to know what you’re talking about. This doesn’t mean you have to get your degree in addiction science, but you can do a little research on the ins and outs of alcohol use disorder. Learn about the symptoms so you know what your loved one is feeling, and investigate alcohol rehab options so you know which therapies and approaches are best.
You can act as their conduit for knowledge when it comes to recovery, as they may not have the strength or motivation to perform this research themselves.
Research Treatment Options
After learning more about the therapies used in alcohol and drug rehab, you’ll want to create a list of various treatment programs your loved one might consider. There are plenty of resources to help you curate such a list, including:
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration treatment finder. You can also get information by calling 1-800-662-HELP.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which can help you connect with professionals in your area who may be able to help you in person. Just call 1-800-273-TALK.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness, which offers support for a variety of mental disorders.
- Mental Health America, which offers resources for mental health issues.
- The Partnership at Drugfree.org, which is a great resource for parents seeking help for their children.
- The American Society of Addiction Medicine, which maintains a nationwide directory of addiction professionals.
Create a list of the top treatment programs, starting with an alcohol and drug detox facility as well as a rehab center.
Talk With Your Loved One
Now comes the hardest part — actually talking with your loved one about their problems. In many cases, those abusing alcohol don’t want to believe they have a problem. They might become belligerent and angry. In other cases, they might have been waiting for someone to confront them and offer support. Be prepared for either scenario.
Some tips for how to speak on this difficult subject include:
- Keeping the focus on how your loved one’s drinking affects you. If they realize they’re hurting more than just themselves, they may be more willing to get help.
- Avoiding lectures or preaching, which can make your loved one more resistant to what you’re saying.
- Mentioning that you’re concerned for their health and well-being.
- Avoiding labels like “alcoholic” or “user.” Instead, refer to the disease as alcohol use disorder.
- Sticking to the facts and including specific examples of troublesome behavior.
- Offering to go to the doctor with your loved one.
- Reminding them that you’re always there to support them.
Important Things to Remember About Getting an Alcoholic Help
Keep in mind that even if you’re the most patient, most persuasive person on the planet, you still might not be able to convince your loved one to seek treatment. You can’t force them, so don’t try. It might take a few different talks before they agree to see a doctor about their issues.
Regardless, you need to always be there if they need help. Even if they’re not ready to get sober now, when they finally decide the time is right, they’ll need a shoulder to lean on.