How to Assist an Alcoholic 

“How to assist an alcoholic” is a burning question that many families struggle to understand. You’ve observed them over time and, seen first-hand, the progressive disease of alcoholism. Truth be told, you have also seen the costs of their addiction to alcohol, such as divorce, job loss and deteriorating health. It is easy to feel powerless when you’re up against alcoholism, but fortunately, there are some things you can do to help. If you’re prepared to help your loved one, then the first thing you need to do is take care of yourself. That means to join a local Al-ANON group support group and gather the experiences from those who have walked in your shoes.

alcohol is destructive

Learn More About Alcoholism

Besides participating in Al-ANON, one of the most valuable things you can do is learn more about the disease itself. The more you are able to understand the disease, the more you are able to comprehend your loved one’s actions and behaviors.

Some essential things to be mindful of include:

People suffering from alcohol addiction act out in ways they typically wouldn’t. If your loved one has become belligerent, disobedient, or even violent, it is important to understand that their disease is typically the cause for their negative behavior.

Alcoholism chemically rewires the brain. This means that their dependency on alcohol is difficult to stop.

Alcohol addiction is a medical diagnosis portrayed by compulsive drinking with lack of control over quantity consumed.

“What Not to Do” With an Alcoholic

While there are some things you can do to help an “alcoholic”, here is EXACTLY what you should NOT do:

Don’t Enable. If you’re giving your loved one money, a roof over their head, making excuses for their drinking or defending them - you are an enabler! It is hard to accept, but the sooner your loved one experiences the consequences of drinking, the sooner they ask for help to stop.

It’s Not Your Fault. As a way to manipulate those around them, alcoholics accuse others for their drinking. Just know, this is an attempt to shift the conversation onto you. Don’t fall for it!

Stop Making Excuses for Them. Defending your loved one from other people in their lives who have worry will only feed into their denial.

Don’t Live in the Past. If your loved one has done something reprehensible while in the grip of their addiction, it is imperative to let this go if you want to move on.

Don’t give Up. Your loved one can take many trips to treatment before it finally registers with them. Relapse is a common part of addiction. The trick is to not give up on your loved one and offer your support and love instead.

If you’re ready to get help for your loved one, we are here for you. Our admissions team is available 24-hours a day to help guide you through the process and provide any assistance you may need.

Simple Path Recovery is a oceanside, boutique addiction treatment center located in Pompano Beach, FL. Recognized as a Top Florida Drug & Alcohol Rehab, Simple Path is committed to individualized care, 12-step integration, and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Their addiction helpline is available 24/7 at 855-467-3625.


About the Author
Matthew Koenig is the principal of Last Call Marketing, which devotes their efforts to Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Website Design and SEO, primarily in healthcare and tourism concerns. Mr. Koenig is based out of South Florida. His sober date is June 10, 2013.


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