What Can I Do To Help?
There’s actually a lot you can do to help someone you care about get ready to quit drinking.
Unfortunately, as much as we’d like to, none of us can make someone else stop drinking if they don’t really want to. Most of us feel that if someone (a spouse, child, friend, sibling, parent, partner or relative) cared enough about us, they’d want to quit and be able to do so. That thinking is not only unhealthy because it fosters resentment, but more importantly, it ignores the physiology behind the drinking behavior. People fail to stay sober not because they don’t care enough but because of what’s going on inside their brains.
Learn The Root Cause of Their Problem
The single most important thing you can do to help another person quit drinking is to understand what’s causing their seemingly bizarre, frustrating behavior. Once you do, you’re better able to respond in helpful ways that move the individual towards readiness to quit. It’s critically important both for your mental health and for the sake of the relationship that you accept they no longer have a choice not to be thinking about drinking.
For more detail, please visit What Happened In My Brain?
When a person becomes dependent on alcohol they’ve formed one version of a condition known as Reward Deficiency Syndrome that creates anxiety when they stop drinking that builds until they drink again. Regardless of resolve, most people eventually drink just to stop the anxiety and to feel OK. Having that understanding allows you interact patiently, with compassion and without judgment. That makes the individual less defensive and much more receptive to change.
Simply explaining the actual failure mechanism to someone struggling to quit empowers them. Most alcoholics don’t understand why it’s so difficult for them to maintain abstinence. Invariably, they carry a ton of guilt, embarrassment and self-loathing due to their past failures. By educating them you allow them to shift their negative self-thinking to the actual cause for failure and ultimately what can be done about it. Understanding this failure mechanism provides hope they’ve previously lost.
Meet With An Addiction Specialist
We'd like to invite you to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with one of our addiction specialists. If you're loved one is willing to come, that would be great. If they are not, we'd still be happy to meet with you and give you some tools and ideas of how you can help.