help loved one stop drinking

Helping Someone Stop Drinking

SoCal Detox
SoCal Detox

SoCal Detox editorial contributors include writers, editors, mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals who are trained to create credible and authoritative health information that is accurate, informative, and easy to understand.

It’s an uphill grind to be sure. The romanticized picture of the glories of alcohol and the people who imbibe is one of the major players in the fight for sobriety. Here in Southern California, the problem is as big as anywhere. The commercials, the rows of bars, the West Coast IPA beer culture. As well, there is a growing market for alcohol being pushed towards women. T-shirts that talk about drinking wine all day as well as other campaigns that encourage women to have a drink because they deserve it as their parental right.

So with all these things in play, how do you know if your loved one is drinking too much? And how do you help them quit?

Spotting Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder is the term used for when someone is addicted to alcohol, or otherwise known as an alcoholic. AUD is an actual medical diagnosis, and can only be applied by a qualified doctor. However, there are a few things you can be on the look out for to gauge wether your loved one is at risk for this disease.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH), here are a few questions you can ask:

In the past year has your loved one:

  • Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer than they intended?
  • More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
  • Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
  • Experienced craving — a strong need, or urge, to drink?
  • Found that drinking — or being sick from drinking — often interfered with taking care of their home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
  • Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with their family or friends?
  • Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
  • Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, they had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?

These are some of the symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder, and if your loved one has one or multiple of these, there may be a cause for concern.

How to Talk to Someone About Their Alcohol Addiction

Talking to someone about AUD is going to vary from person to person. And it will make a difference what kind of relationship is already in existence. If you currently have a tenuous relationship with the person you believe is suffering from AUD, you might not be the best person to bring it up. This type of disease is quite personal, and the way that it hijacks the brain makes individuals very defensive when the topic is broached.

If, however, you already have a loving relationship where there is plenty of mutual respect and trust, you may not only have the right, you may have a responsibility to talk to your friend or family member.

Just Do It: Talking About Alcohol Addiction

Though there are lots of wrong ways, there is really no “correct” way to bring up a possible alcohol addiction. But there are a few guidelines.

Be supportive: Speaking up is only the start. If you love the person, you will be willing to walk with them through their journey to recovery. When you talk to your loved one, be prepared with what their options are and what you are willing to do to help.

Express concern, not stigma: Addiction to alcohol happens to anyone, anywhere, at any time. It is not a sign of laziness or moral failure. It is a disease that affects the brain and takes over many behaviors and internal drives of the person afflicted. When you talk to your loved one, let them know you have seen some aspects of their life that seem to be at risk because of their attachment to alcohol and its effects. These might include their family, job, school, friendships, finances, safety and more. These are “big” deals, and hopefully your loved one cares enough to take those kinds of things seriously.

Know that it takes more than concern: If your loved one does indeed have AUD, this is not something they can fix on their own. It’s not a question of will power and it even goes beyond that of desire. They will need the help of a professional, qualified addiction treatment center that will give them individualized care and an executable plan that will enable them to find real, lasting recovery.

Start Here: A High Quality Orange County Detox — SoCal Detox

SoCal Detox is the most comprehensive and powerful program available to get your loved one started on the right track. Our detox program is carefully crafted for each individual client that comes to us for help, and it is expansive to make sure the appropriate assessments are made to place each person in the most effective next-step situation for further treatment and lasting recovery.

If you are planning on talking to a loved one about their possible alcohol addiction, please call us today. One of our addiction specialists will be happy to answer any questions about what your next steps should be. Call today: 888-590-0777.

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