Alcohol abuse exists when a person suffers damage to the financial situation, health, relationships, school, work or other parts of life but they continue to drink. Alcohol abuse becomes an addiction when the person has developed a tolerance to alcohol, that is, that they must drink much more than they used to, to get the same effect. If they stop drinking, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. A very heavy drinker can have such severe withdrawal symptoms that their very life can be in danger.
If you are wondering if there is a problem with a person’s drinking, here are the signs and symptoms:
-They go to work, school or other events drunk or hungover
-They drink despite the fact that they will be driving later
-They suffered illnesses or injuries related to drinking
-They have blackouts after drinking
-They have a physical condition that would be worsened by drinking but they still drink
-They acknowledged a problem with their drinking and perhaps even promised to stop but not changed a thing
Watch for these patterns of problem drinking. If these patterns persist, you need to seek alcohol rehabilitation to help your friend or loved one!
This section will guide you on how to help someone with an addiction. When someone struggles with addiction, it can have serious negative effects on their relationships with family, friends, and work colleagues. If you know or suspect that someone in your life suffers from alcohol addiction, you will probably want to help the one that you love, but this can be met with hostility or denial. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease, and the path to recovery for someone who is addicted is often a long and difficult one. This inevitably impacts those closest to them, and professional help may be needed to get them to treatment and into recovery.
It is important for family members and friends to recognize the signs and symptoms of addiction. These can differ depending on the type of addictions they are coping with, whether it be could be alcohol addiction. Many people are able to hide their addiction even from those closest to them, and it can be tempting to ignore the problem when that seems easier.
As much as you want to help your loved one, it is common for those who suffer from addiction to exhibit negative behaviors and attitudes when confronted about their using. Many people will react in the following ways:
Part of the reason that addiction is so difficult to manage and treat is that the person affected refuses to accept that they have a problem. It can be frustrating and confusing for those around the person affected to continue watching them behave in destructive ways and remain in denial when confronted.
When confronted, the person affected will deny they have a problem, and will commonly react in anger, initially or if pushed on the issue. People with an addiction will generally be feeling defensive and can turn aggressive if the issue of their use is raised. Even the “nicest” approach may be met with anger.
The person affected may start to avoid you, or avoid speaking about their problems, if they begin to feel “attacked”. A person with an addiction will often use as a coping method to avoid problems and may continue this avoidance behavior, starting to shut themselves away from you and other loved ones that confront them.
Whether you are trying to help someone who has never been admitted to treatment, or someone who was in recovery and is now relapsing, try these other steps. Compassion can be one of the greatest motivators that family and friends can use, as they encourage the addicted person to seek help. By showing compassion, the person suffering will feel more comfortable and able to open up, as well as understand how their actions are affecting you. Leading experts believe that empathy and social support can be key to getting people into treatment and staying in recovery. However, it is important to understand the difference between enabling and supporting, which can mean the difference in getting treatment or not. Some ways to exercise compassion include:
-Family inclusion in therapy
-Listening and acknowledging the pain
-Working on understanding addiction
-Emphasizing care and concern
When someone suffers from addiction, it is common that they will also suffer from a decline in physical health, mental health, and poor hygiene. Encouraging the person affected to seek treatment for their health issues can help them understand the toll their addiction is taking on their life. Establishing a structured environment, encouraging healthy eating habits and exercise can help the person affected to want a healthier lifestyle overall, and seek out treatment.
If you are trying to help save his (or her) life by getting the drinking to stop, recognize that you are not in the wrong. You just need help.
Never hesitate to contact us to get professional help in this situation. Our nearest center can advise you on how to proceed in this tricky situation.