Alcoholism; 3 ways family can help a recovering alcoholic stay sober

Oct 8 22:55 2007 Christian Shire Print This Article

You can never fight the battles of alcoholism recovery for someone you love, but that doesn’t mean that family can't help a lot on the road to sobriety. Although the recovering alcoholic must walk the lonely road to sobriety alone, there are three concrete actions that a loving and supportive family can take to help out along the way.

You can’t do it for them,Guest Posting and unless they are motivated and determined to make some serious changes there is little you can do; but many alcoholics who truly want to achieve lasting sobriety have a very hard time; and anything that you can do to help out is enormously beneficial.

Thankfully, there certain things that a concerned and supportive family can do to assist in a personal battle with addiction, and the loving and educated support of family can sometimes make the difference between success and a life of happy sobriety, and further abuse and heartache.

3 things family can do to support an alcoholic in recovery

1 Get educated

You can't expect to offer much support without a real understanding of the problem, and the more you learn about alcohol and the disease of alcoholism, the more constructive support you can lend.

You should educate yourself even before the alcoholic achieves sobriety, and al anon is a great family resource, offering constructive tools for bettering the problem as well as tools to help keep the family together and happy, even in the face of continuing abuse.

If the alcoholic begins sobriety at rehab, it’s a very good idea to push for a rehab that includes some substantial family involvement within its programming.

 An active participation in the seminars and therapy of rehab can teach families a lot of useful and concrete strategies of support; and the therapy can also help to unearth any lingering family dynamics that may be contributing to the problem, as well as to heal any wounds created through the behaviors of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

2) Help to remove some of the stresses from the newly sober alcoholic's life

Stresses trigger relapse, even amongst committed and motivated recovering alcoholics; and if there is anything that you can do to ease the transition into sobriety, your contribution may be enormously beneficial.

Normal day to day life stresses can easily overwhelm a newly sober alcoholic. Recovering alcoholics struggle just to resist the temptations and cravings to abuse; and when additional stresses are piled on, sometimes it just becomes too much.

If you can, help with finding a sober place to live, help out with the bills for a while; help out watching the kids…do whatever you can to make life just a bit easier for those first risky months after sobriety.

You won’t have to do it forever, and your contributions can make all the difference.

3) Intervene

Don’t wait for relapse to occur before taking action this time around. If you see worrying signs of impending relapse, put your foot down and take a stand for the benefit of all involved. Sometimes just taking the recovering addict out for a day of family fun can make the difference between a relapse and another day struggling towards sobriety.

And if a relapse does happen, remember that this doesn't need to mean the end of recovery. Get the alcoholic into a safe and sober place and concentrate on learning what triggered the slip, and focusing on what can be done to avoid another one.

Your help can make the difference

You can only do so much, and all the family support in the world won’t change a thing unless the alcoholic equally desires of sobriety. But for those that do, and for those that struggle (all) a supportive, loving and determined family can make the difference.

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Christian Shire
Christian Shire

Learn how Family Can Help in Drug Rehab and read the daily addiction and recovery blog TroublBlog Alcohol and the Family

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