As the fourth leading preventable cause of death, excess alcohol consumption accounted for an estimated 88,000 deaths between the years 2006 and 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. For this time period, early deaths resulting from alcoholism amount to 2.5 million years of potential life lost.
Alcohol addiction knows no bounds affecting people of different cultures, ethnicities, socioeconomic levels and genders with little to no discretion. Watching a friend’s life go into freefall as alcohol takes over can be heartbreaking at best.
Finding a friend help for alcohol addiction starts with understanding how alcohol alters a person’s perceptions and behaviors towards others. The key lies in understanding how to approach and handle someone who’s life centers around getting and drinking alcohol.
Help With a Purpose in Mind
Once caught within the grips of alcoholism, a friend’s ability to seek out help for alcohol addiction all but disappears. Helping someone in this condition requires a certain approach that doesn’t ultimately make his or her problem worse. As addiction, more oftentimes than not, causes trouble in the lives of those affected, helping a friend out of trouble caused by excess drinking may actually do more harm than good.
Help for alcohol addiction allows drinkers to suffer the consequences of their actions. Covering for an alcoholic, lying, buying liquor and cleaning up his or her messes further enable the alcoholic’s addiction. In effect, help for alcohol addiction entails making a friend take responsibility for addiction’s consequences and being there when he or she is ready to get treatment.
The more an alcoholic’s world spins out of control the more important solid boundaries become. Setting boundaries means clearly communicating what behaviors you will and will not tolerate from the alcoholic with stated consequences attached. When setting boundaries, following through on unacceptable behaviors is equally important.
Not unlike the security a parent provides for a child, help for alcohol addiction entails refusing to tolerate the chaotic behaviors and lifestyle addiction brings. Without boundaries, an alcoholic friend has no reason to question his or her behavior.
Actions Mean More Than Words
Alcohol’s effects on a person’s reasoning drives alcoholics to use whatever tools are at their disposable to get what they want. Over time, excessive drinking starts to define whom the alcoholic is as well as any motivations behind what he or she does. When offering help for alcohol addiction, a friend’s sincerity is best gauged by his or her actions rather than his or her words.
Alcohol’s prominence in a friend’s life eventually overrules any morals or value, making it all the more easy to lie and steal. Ultimately, any help for alcohol addiction should be offered based on a friend’s actions towards getting better.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment Benefits
The challenges of recovery often leave alcoholics feelings lost, alone and confused. Treatment programs offer the type of help for alcohol addiction needed to overcome the physical and psychological effects of addiction.
Treatment programs also provide alcoholics in recovery with a support network. Having a support network in place can make all the difference for a friend going through recovery. For this reason, treatment programs also offer supports for family and friends of the alcoholic.