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How to Support Someone with an Alcohol Use Disorder

Woman at a party looking depressed
Learn how to support a loved one with an alcohol use disorder.

One of the most challenging aspects of trying to support someone with an alcohol use disorder is that it can feel like they’re broken into two separate personalities. When they’ve had too much to drink, your loved one becomes unreliable and engages in more dangerous behavior. Once the alcohol wears off, they don’t remember their previous actions and go back to the person you know. Alcohol addiction introduces chaos into your life, and you’re left feeling a sense of hopelessness about what to do.

The good news is that there are ways you can continue to support and care for your loved one who is struggling with alcohol addiction. Join us as we explore how you can navigate an alcohol addiction, how to support someone with an alcohol use disorder for who they are, all while making sure your own needs are taken care of.

Learn How to Set Boundaries

When you’re setting boundaries with someone struggling with alcohol use, it’s important to remember that this practice isn’t about giving them ultimatums or threats. Think of boundaries as a healthy way to choose what parts of your loved one’s life you want to be involved in. For example, you can tell him or her that you’re not going to buy alcohol or have it in your home. This boundary will help you separate yourself from any destructive behavior without feeling overwhelmed.

Once you start listing out and implementing your boundaries, you need to stick to them. One of the ways you can reach this goal is by practicing detachment. Detachment is the ability to have the strength to take a step back from your loved one’s alcohol use disorder. This doesn’t mean you stop caring, but you can enable your loved one’s addiction if you help them through the consequences of drinking too often.

Introduce Your Loved One to Healthy Coping Skills

While you can’t control your loved one’s actions or force them into recovery, it’s possible to give them a nudge in the right direction. Start by making a list of interests that your loved one enjoyed before alcohol had such an important role in their life. Then brainstorm activities that appeal to those interests while offering them healthier ways to cope with any feelings of stress or depression.

Let’s say that your loved one with an alcohol use disorder enjoyed going for a run before work in the morning. You could invite them to go for a weekly hike. Exercise is a great healthy way to deal with stress, which could help your loved one realize alcohol isn’t their only option to cope. This strategy also provides some insight on how to confront a loved one about their alcohol use by introducing the concept of trying to find common ground.

Consider Joining a Support Group

You can join a support group to help yourself alleviate some of the stress when your loved one is struggling with alcohol use. A support group will introduce you to other people who know what it’s like to support someone with an alcohol use disorder. You’ll be able to learn from the experiences other members share and gain a better understanding of what your loved one is going through. When you learn more about alcohol addiction, you’ll begin to not feel responsible for your loved one’s actions. Once that burden is lifted, you can really focus on helping them reclaim their life from alcohol.

It’s also important to note that you should find an alcoholism support group as quickly as possible. A level of comfort comes with realizing you’re not alone in your struggle, and just because you have a loved one who’s struggling with alcohol use, it doesn’t diminish the love you have for each other.

Discover Premier Alcohol Addiction Treatment in Colorado

Your loved one can reclaim the aspects of their life that alcohol addiction [MK1] has stolen from them, and The Raleigh House is here to help. For over a decade, our expert staff has been offering evidence-based therapy methods to give our clients the opportunity to reach lasting recovery. We’re happy to answer your questions about what alcohol rehab would look like for your loved one and the steps they need to take for a better life. Contact our admissions team today [MK2] to learn more about our expert alcohol addiction treatment in Colorado.

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