This is Part Two of Our Series on 10 Ways to Get Your Loved One to Stop Drinking Alcohol.
4. Create a Recovery Plan Together
If you have successfully made the person see the effect of drinking on their life, and they accepted the need for help, offer your support. You can suggest your loved one gradually cut off alcohol consumption. Instead of going to rehab, if you feel like the problem is not that big and you can both handle it, with their agreement, create a long-term plan. The plan will include time limits (periods) when the person needs to lower the alcohol intake, a reward for the accomplishment, and regular check ups that will prove that your loved one is doing as they agreed. The plan can also include regular attendance of some type to coaching or addiction therapy.
The goals of the plan need to to be clear and accepted as feasable by the person. You should also offer assistance for the withdrawal symptoms. Don’t ever convince the person to go cold turkey they have a serious drinking problem. That might cost them their life. A plan will help the person realize that they haave control over the problem and motivate them to work hard and overcome it.
5. Avoid Ultimatums, Forcing or Nagging
Accusing or judging the person to quit drinking will only make things worse. If you nag or argue the y are unlikely to open up about their feelings and the reasons behind the drinking problem. You should know that having a conversation with an alcoholic might trigger an attack from their side and activate their defense system on you. So you need to stay calm and try being reasonable. This is easier said than done, but if you decide to accept the situation that you are getting into, this is a necessary step.
If you offer an ultimatum, the person is likely to choose to continue drinking over the option you suggest. This will make the situation stressful and do more harm than good. Shaming the person for their drinking could make them turn to drinking even more because that’s their coping mechanism.
6. Create a Strong Support System
It is not healthy for you to deal with this situation on gour own. Ask for help. Reach out to other people that care about your loved one and ask them to be your support system. If they refuse or quit along the way, ask for help from other support groups (Alcoholics Anonymous), and families that help other people deal with this type of situation. It is always good to get first-hand advice from people that have been abusing alcohol. If you know someone that has successfully quit drinking, try to reach out to them. Ask them about their recovery and what made them quit. You can also ask about their approach to the drinking problem. But keep in mind that every person is different. What works for someone will not necessarily work for another person.
7. Avoid Drinking Around Your Loved One
As you inform yourself on about the effects drinking has on the person you are trying to help understand that alcoholism is a disease that lasts for a lifetime. If the person has stopped drinking at some point in their life, chances are they will relapse later on. Drinking in front of this person is not be an option for quite a while, especially if you are trying to get them to quit long term.
8. Don’t Enable Them
Many times, alcohol abusers stop drinking alcohol after the person that was supporting them stops enabling their substance abuse. If you are enabling an alcoholic in any way you need to cease doing so. For example, stop bailing them out of bad situations, let them feel the full consequences of their actions and practice tough love. Alcoholism is a disease and you will be taken advantage of, many times. So, it is important to let the person learn how to take care of himself even if it might be hard for you.
Related: How to Prepare for a Rehab Center
9. Visit the Doctor
One of the first steps after creating a recovery plan is taking your loved one to the doctor. Having medical help will reassure the person that everything will be under control and the process of recovery is as safe as it can be. After explaining the condition of the loved one to the doctor, she will help you understand the situation better and suggest easier ways to go through the process of quitting. The doctor might suggest medications to help with cravings and withdrawal symptoms. This will reassure the person that you know what to do when the symptoms begin to appear. Also, getting a checkup might reveal some health problems that are common in alcohol abusers and need treatment.
10. Take Care of Yourself
If you are hoping to get your loved one to stop drinking, completely, you are their hero. However, being supportive takes a lot of time and energy. It is important to show love and kindness through their recovery. But if the person’s behavior and actions start to affect your health and well-being in a bad way, it might be time to move on from that person. Some people, no matter how much affection you show and no matter how bad drinking is for their health, will continue to abuse alcohol.
For more information please call this Toll Free 24/7 Addiction Treatment Helpline at (844) 439-4765. This is a completely confidential call. If you have health insurance it may cover up to 100% of the treatment cost. So please call now!