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How to Help an Alcoholic Family Member

a man talks to a woman who is crying about how to help an alcoholic family member

All too often, family members struggle to find a way to help their loved ones suffering from a substance use condition. As a family member sinks deeper into addiction, they may not realize the negative impact that alcohol is having on their life. Finding the words to confront the situation can be complicated and, in some cases, feel impossible. However, options are available when a family member is committed to finding assistance for a loved one struggling with alcohol addiction.

Texas alcohol rehab centers offer compassionate, comprehensive care for those seeking help for their loved one’s addiction. Texas Recovery Center offers a wide range of programs that cater to each patient’s unique needs. If you want to help an alcoholic family member, consider contacting a Texas alcohol rehab center today. With the right resources and support, it is possible to help your loved one through this challenging time. Contact Texas Recovery Center at 844.230.5931 to learn more about how to help an alcoholic family member.

Does My Family Member Have a Drinking Problem?

Many terms are used to define alcoholism, and while many use them interchangeably, some have vastly different meanings. Terms like “alcohol use,” “binge drinking,” “heavy drinking,” “alcohol addiction,” and “alcohol use disorder” are just some of the terms used to explain excessive drinking and more. Alcohol use, or drinking issue, are terms for most issues directly related to excessive alcohol consumption and its adverse long-term effects.

Binge drinking and heavy drinking are also considered alcohol use. A person who consumes more than four to five drinks in two hours is considered a binge drinker. One in six adults binge drinks an average of four times a month. Binge drinking is the most common and dangerous form of alcohol consumption. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, binge drinking results in significant health issues, including blackouts, car accidents, cancer, and death. Heavy drinking is defined as binge drinking more than five times a month. Abusing alcohol by drinking in excess can lead to alcohol dependence and addiction.

Once the body becomes alcohol dependent, alcohol cravings begin—circuits and pathways in the brain change. Without alcohol, the brain no longer functions properly. Rewired brain pathways indicate alcohol addiction. Alcohol addiction can result in severe behavior changes, mood swings, and changes in appearance. A person struggling with alcohol use would benefit from a medically supervised detox, as severe alcohol withdrawal can result in seizures and delirium.

What to Do if a Family Member Drinks Excessively

If someone in your family drinks too much, it may indicate another problem like stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, or using alcohol to cope. There could be many reasons for excessive drinking, so try discussing the issue openly to see if you can find a solution together. It may be best to keep a conversation about alcohol use simple and honest. This way, the door is open for your loved one to respond with the same truthfulness.

Alcohol Use Impacts the Family

Additionally, being clear about how excessive drinking impacts the rest of the family may provide insight that the relative had not realized. Further suggestions for families when dealing with a loved one with a drinking problem may include the following:

  • Education about the nature of alcohol use and addiction
  • Support positive changes
  • Understand that it is not your fault or to take it personally
  • Realize that sobriety is a process
  • Let your loved one experience consequences, even the scary ones
  • Set clear boundaries for both you and your loved one
  • Explore alcohol treatment options for yourself, the family, or a family member
  • Consider an intervention for your loved one and family

Conversely, there are some things a person should avoid when dealing with a loved one who is struggling with alcohol use or addiction, such as:

  • Enabling
  • Covering up the alcohol use
  • Give in or destroy established boundaries
  • Attempt to control your loved one or their addiction
  • Trying to fix or cure the problem
  • Accepting unacceptable actions or behaviors
  • Having unrealistic expectations
  • Believing you can rescue your loved one
  • Living in the past

Many treatment options are available for those battling alcohol use disorders, including individual counseling, support groups, and inpatient rehab programs. Whether you pursue a treatment option yourself or encourage your loved one to do so, it is vital to stay involved in their recovery process and continue to be supportive.

Why Is Helping an Alcoholic Family Member Crucial?

Alcohol use disorder is a severe condition that can profoundly affect a person’s health, relationships, and financial stability. If you have a loved one struggling with this condition, you may feel helpless and uncertain of how to support them best. However, you must do everything possible to help them overcome this condition. Here are four ways you can help your family member:

  1. Educate yourself about substance use and its causes – The more you understand the condition, the better equipped you will be to help your loved one through their recovery journey.
  2. Be there for them emotionally – Recovery from alcohol use is a long and challenging process, and your loved one will need all the support they can get. Be patient and understanding, and offer a listening ear whenever they need to talk.
  3. Help them establish healthy habits – Encourage your loved one to eat healthy meals, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. These healthy habits will help them physically and mentally as they recover.
  4. Assist them in getting professional help – Addiction is a complex disease that requires professional treatment. If your loved one is willing to seek help from a therapist or rehab facility, offer to help them with logistics and support them every step of the way.

With your help, they can overcome their alcohol use disorder and reclaim their health, relationships, and happiness. However, it’s important to remember that recovery is a process, and your loved one will need your ongoing support and understanding. You can play a crucial role in their recovery by providing them with the compassion, guidance, and assistance they need.

Learn How to Help an Alcoholic Family Member Alcohol Use at Texas Recovery Center

Many inpatient treatment options exist for alcohol use and addiction. Specialized facilities cater to men, women, professionals, teens, and adolescents, among other specific demographics. Other alcoholic treatment facilities offer wilderness rehab, equestrian therapy, and 12-step and non-12-step options. Our staff is available to discuss alcohol use and addiction treatment options for you and your family. Contact us today at 844.230.5931, and we can help you figure out how to help an alcoholic family member.

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