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How to Help an Alcoholic

Alcohol is a substance that depresses the central nervous system, and although alcohol is legal, many people abuse this by drinking in excess. Often, individuals will develop a pattern of abuse with alcohol because it makes them feel more relaxed and thereby helps quell anxiety. Men and women who abuse alcohol many times will have other psychological conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, and depression.

An alcoholic is someone who has a drive to drink despite the negative consequences it may cause in their lives. For example, even if a person’s social and work life starts to suffer, they will still drink because they like the way that it makes them feel, or it helps them escape all their troubles for a short period of time.

The amount of alcohol that an alcoholic consumes varies among individuals. Sufferers of this disease usually have an increased level of tolerance, in that they can drink more and more without feeling the impact as they progress through their addiction. When they become addicted and do not have access to alcohol, alcoholics will experience insomnia, anxiety, profuse sweating, and tremors. In severe addiction cases, people can have seizures and heart failure when they stop drinking alcohol, and for this reason, many treatment programs will prescribe medications to help the alcoholic avoid serious side effects from quitting cold turkey.

With the high number of alcoholics in the U.S., many people want to know how they can help someone they care about to overcome their addiction to alcohol. Depending on your relationship with the person, you will most likely have to change your behavior, as some people who are close to alcoholics enable it without even realizing this fact. If you do anything that helps an alcoholic continue on course such as finishing their work, calling in sick for them, loaning them money, lying to cover up things, taking the blame for their behavior, drinking with them, and giving them more chances after you have told them you would leave them, you are enabling their behavior. You absolutely must stop enabling them. Sometimes, just the fact that alcoholics will need to take responsibility for their own behaviors will lead them to seek help.

It is difficult to get an alcoholic into treatment, because making threats to them won’t help due to their self-destructiveness. Instead, you can help them by setting boundaries and following through with these limitations. If someone you know has the realization that he or she must get help, you can offer them assistance to get into treatment programs. If you suggest programs before the person is ready, this could have the opposite impact where the person may start drinking even more. The person you know must want to get help.

It sounds overly simple, but the first step to recovery is for the person to stop drinking. You can help by supporting them through this process. Medical doctors will usually prescribe another medication to an alcoholic while they quit drinking, so that they do not have serious withdrawal symptoms. By being supportive during this process, you can help the person you know get to the next step which is behavioral and psychological counseling. The alcoholic will need to address all of the factors that caused the drinking in the first place. Only once all of these issues are brought out in the open can someone successfully avoid drinking. Without psychological and behavioral counseling, an alcoholic will easily relapse when the target issues occur again in their lives.

Therefore, you need to develop a better understanding through research on what causes alcoholism. Then, you must stop whatever behaviors and actions you have been doing that are causing you to enable the person you know to be an alcoholic. Once this person makes the realization that he or she is ready for recovery, be supportive of them through the process.

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