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Dos and Don’ts when Talking to a Loved One with an Alcohol Addiction

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When you love someone with an alcohol addiction, things get complicated. You want to intervene, but you don’t know what to do. Every time you say something, it comes off the wrong way and starts a fight. You’re told that “There isn’t a problem” or “I can quit anytime I want to” or “My drinking is none of your business.”

When it comes to talking to a loved one with an alcohol addiction, there are certain things you want to make sure to do, and some things you don’t ever want to do. Here are a few dos and don’ts so you can get your message across in a way that doesn’t damage the relationship.

DO: Empower Yourself

When you love an addict, you need to empower yourself. Learn everything you can about addiction and recovery. Know the signs of dependence, withdrawal, and relapse so you have the tools you need to help your loved one overcome his or her addiction.

If you have a loved one with an alcohol problem, don’t wait to get help. Call 800-654-0987 today to talk to someone about treatment options and get them the help they need, before it’s too late.

DON’T: Enable

Alcohol Addiction

Let your loved one know how much you care about them and their wellbeing.

Enabling always starts out of love, but it ends in heartache and does nothing to stop alcoholism or addiction. Instead of helping, enabling makes drinking easier and allows your loved one to not have to deal with the consequences of his or her behavior.

DO: Stay Calm

It can be hard to stay calm when talking to an alcoholic about his or her drinking, especially when there’s denial involved. That’s why it’s so important to remain composed, talk about your concerns, and speak from the heart. Even if your loved one gets angry, it’s your job and responsibility to stay calm, cool, and collected.

DON’T: Get Mean

It’s easy to fall into negative behaviors, but when you’re talking to a loved one about his or her alcohol addiction, you can’t get upset. Don’t criticize and don’t place blame. He or she may even try to push your buttons, get you upset and off track, but don’t them. Stay in control and do what you meant to do.

DO: Have a Plan

Know exactly what you want your loved one to do. If treatment is the goal, know what facilities accept his or her insurance, know when there’s a bed available, and have the transportation already set up. If you want your loved one to start going to meetings, know where one is and be ready and willing to accompany him or her on the trip.

DON’T: Be Okay with Promises

It’s easy for alcoholics to make promises, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to follow through. Getting sober isn’t easy and most people can’t do it on their own. Therefore, it’s necessary that you don’t end the discussion with only promises. You don’t want to hear words, you need to see action.

When you love an alcoholic, there are some things you must remember what you should and shouldn’t do when you talk to them about their addiction. If not, they’re not going to hear a word you say. If you or someone you love is in need of alcohol addiction treatment, call 800-654-0987 today to find help, before things get worse.