Alcohol is one of the most addictive substances on this earth. Even though it’s legal to purchase and consume, it leads to millions of deaths each and every year. Especially if you’re in recovery, you understand the dangers alcohol can have on the lives of those who abuse it. And, if you see a loved one struggling with alcohol addiction, it can be challenging to not only watch but to put yourself in a position of monitoring the abuse. As a person in recovery, you may understand the need for support not only during but before choosing to get help through treatment. Additionally, you may be wondering if there’s anything you can do as a person in recovery for your alcoholic friend. In this blog, we discuss ways in which people in recovery can help an alcoholic friend.
Before you can offer help or do anything, it’s best to be certain that your friend or loved one is really struggling with an addiction to alcohol. Fortunately, there are some telltale signs that can help to signal drug abuse. Some signs of an alcoholic friend may include:
Not being able to stop drinking: If your friend has told you that they were going to stop drinking on more than one occasion but has never got around to it, it could be a sign of a developed addiction.
Drinking more than usual in one sitting: Tolerance is a big red flag. So, if you notice that your friend is needing more alcohol in a single sitting than they have in the past to feel the desired effect, it could be a sign of dependence.
They’ve lost their job or spouse: Almost every addiction comes with its negative consequences and alcoholism is no exception. As a result, many people struggling with alcoholism may miss a number of work days, show up late, or don’t function at 100%. Obviously, this can lead to firing or being laid off. Additionally, relationships can often struggle due to alcoholic tendencies. So, separating from a spouse or marital issues can also be a sign of alcoholic behavior.
They’re acting differently: It’s sad and unfortunate, but addiction can actually change a person’s personality. If your friend is lying to you, attempting to manipulate you, or even more moody than he/she has been in the past, it may be due to active addiction.
They’re in denial of their alcoholism: Finally, one of the surest signs of addiction is denial. While you may be certain of the signs of alcoholism in your friend’s life, your friend may not be. As is the case with most addicts before getting help. If your friend is highly defensive when you have conversations about addictive behaviors, it may be a sign of addiction.
Now that you’re more certain of the alcoholism that’s affecting your friend’s life, you can work toward helping him or her. While addiction is a challenge for everyone involved, there are certainly things you can do as a friend to help make the transition into recovery more effective. Especially if you’re in recovery yourself, it’s always a good idea to be sure of what you’re doing. This way, you not only protect your friend’s recovery but your own as well. Some things you can do for an alcoholic friend include:
Forgiving your friend for his/her shortcomings: If you’re in recovery yourself, you understand that making amends is crucial for the recovery process. Remember, addiction can change a person’s personality. And, change an honest and moral person into someone they’re not. So, work to let go of the things your friend has done as a result of their alcoholism. This way, they can work on also forgiving him or herself.
Approach them at the right time: If you want to discuss the nature of alcoholism and work toward getting your friend help, you’ll need to have a discussion with him/her about their alcohol use. But, to increase the effectiveness of this discussion, it should be done while they are sober. This way, they’ll be more willing to hear what you have to say and may be less defensive about their actions. During this discussion, make sure your friend understands your intentions to help him or her along the way and to offer help to seek treatment out immediately if they’re willing.
Do your research for help: If your friend responds positively to your conversation, take immediate action. You may only get one chance that your friend is willing to get the help they need, so don’t delay. Research facilities which offer individualized, comprehensive care so that all of their specific needs are met. To learn more about how we can help at Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services, contact us today.
Protect your own recovery: If you are in recovery yourself, don’t let helping a loved one keep you from protecting your own recovery. This means taking care of your own needs with self-care efforts! While it’s important to help others in need, it’s also important to remember your own sobriety and take care of yourself too!