What to do if a loved one is diagnosed with alcohol addiction?

What to do if a loved one is diagnosed with alcohol addiction?


It can be tough if a close friend or a family member is diagnosed with alcohol addiction. Such diagnosis may change your perception towards loved ones and you need to be careful with your reaction to such news. Most people want to reach out to their loved ones in such times but, at the same time, they do not want to make the other person feel victimized.

It’s All About Attitude

Positive attitude and confidence are the two most important qualities needed to cope with alcohol addiction. The dilemma of wanting to help a loved one in his fight against alcohol addiction without potentially making it worse can take its toll on most people.

First, you need to be helpful and not judgmental about an addict. Alcoholism can happen to anyone and being addicted to alcohol should not give you a reason to ostracize someone. Addicts need immediate and honest attention. Do not fake attention. More importantly, do not let your loved ones’ condition hit rock bottom. The earlier they receive help, the easier it is for them to cope with addiction.

You also need to be stern in dealing with alcohol addicts, even if it is hard to see them suffer. Experience is the biggest teacher and one should never “cover up” for their shortcomings. For instance, you should never attend meetings on their behalf, do work for them, arrange alcohol for them or pay their bills. Once in a while, let the addict taste the consequences of not staying off the bottle.

Involve Friends and Family

You should also involve more friends and family members into talking the addict out of the habits. However, it may not always be a good idea to involve people that are not close to your friend or family member. Involving a few close ones can create a compelling social pressure on the addict and force him or her to stay off the bottle.

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If your loved one is still not receptive to the idea of staying off the bottle, talk him into seeking intervention and professional help. Some people are lured into trying a self-rehab when suggested medical help because of the social stigma associated with being “medically addicted”. Dealing with an addict at home or in your close social circle involves walking the tight rope between being caring and stern at the same time.

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