Your goal is to be there for your friend as a friend, not a guru. Active listening techniques such as reflecting what they are saying back to them is very powerful because it shows you are hearing them – something most people have not done. Addiction often carries significant stigma because of the societal complexities underlying the reasons people use substances, despite the consequences. New York City recently opened the nation’s first official safe consumption clinics, where people with substance use disorder can use drugs under medical supervision. Drinking alcohol inherently carries a certain level of risk to one’s own health as well as the health of others.
Alcohol abuse and alcoholism can worsen existing conditions such as depression or induce new problems such as serious memory loss, depression or anxiety. Genetic factors make some people especially vulnerable to alcohol dependence. Contrary to myth, being able to «hold your liquor» means you’re support for those who struggling with alcohol addiction probably more at risk — not less — for alcohol problems. Yet a family history of alcohol problems doesn’t mean that children will automatically grow up to have the same problems. Nor does the absence of family drinking problems necessarily protect children from developing these problems.
Who can I call for help with alcohol use disorder?
Researchers say these hopeful findings are significant because they might inspire people to keep attempting recovery even after they endure multiple relapses. Studies show people usually recover, but as with Rasco and Mable-Jones, the process happens slowly after multiple relapses. «Things that I thought I would never gain again, through the process of recovery I have them all,» she said. «Today I’m a homeowner, I own a car, I started my own business.» But in a pattern researchers say is common, Mable-Jones’ illness eventually eased.
But even that’s not always a good idea to help an alcoholic. There’s a lot of information out there on how to help an alcoholic get on the road to recovery. And like with most things, some of it is better than others. We’ve been working with alcoholics and addicts for more than 20 years and know just how difficult it can be to get through to someone stuck in addiction.
How to Help a Drug Addict
Spending time with people who understand exactly what you’re going through can be very healing. You can also benefit from the shared experiences of the group members and learn what others have done to stay sober. Treatment doesn’t have to be limited to doctors and psychologists. Many clergy members, social workers, and counselors also offer addiction treatment services. Write your drinking goal down and keep it where you will frequently see it, such as on your phone or taped to your refrigerator. Are you ready to quit drinking or cut down to healthier levels?
When you’re craving alcohol, there’s a tendency to remember the positive effects of drinking and forget the negatives. Remind yourself of the adverse long-term effects of heavy drinking and how it won’t really make you feel better, even in the short term. If certain people, places, or activities trigger a craving for alcohol, try to avoid them. This may mean making major changes to your social life, such as finding new things to do with your old drinking buddies—or even giving up those friends and finding new ones. Some people are able to stop drinking on their own or with the help of a 12-step program or other support group (see below for links).
After the healing, a better life
Make a note about how you feel physically and mentally on these days—recognizing the benefits may help you to cut down for good. Distance yourself from people who don’t support your efforts to stop drinking or respect the limits you’ve set. This may mean giving up certain friends and social connections. Let friends, family members, and co-workers know that you’re trying to stop or cut back on drinking. If they drink, ask them to support your recovery by not doing so in front of you. Understanding the available treatment options—from behavioral therapies and medications to mutual-support groups—is the first step.
- One troubling question is whether this pattern — multiple relapses leading to eventual recovery — will continue now that more street drugs are contaminated with the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl.
- At Landmark Recovery, we’ve built a reputation for treating individuals seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction.
- Mable-Jones lost a decade to addiction, entering rehab and relapsing repeatedly.
- Research shows that most people who have alcohol problems are able to reduce their drinking or quit entirely.
- Knowing someone can laugh with them, be silly and just allow them to be vulnerable is a wonderful gift.
People who are problem drinkers and those struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD) both have unhealthy relationships with alcohol, but problem drinkers aren’t necessarily addicted to alcohol nor have an AUD. The chart below gives more information about each medicine. It also tells what researchers have found about how well the medicines work to treat alcohol dependence and alcohol use disorder. It’s common to have a difficult time when making big changes, but good self-care practices can help you manage overwhelming feelings and take care of your mind and body. Turner notes the importance of bringing along a trusted support person when attending events that involve alcohol. It’s often easier to turn down a drink when you don’t have to do it alone.