When Family Members Protect Alcoholics

We Do Recover

How Families Can Help an Alcoholic Loved One

Alcoholism, or alcohol addiction as it’s commonly known is often seen a family disease – in the sense that it doesn’t only cause damage to the individual with the drinking problem, but it hurts everyone closest to them as well. However, because of the love we have for this person, our decision making can often be compromised; even if we know that what they are doing is wrong. That’s why in this article, we’re going to tell you how families can help an alcoholic loved one.

Why Do Families Protect Alcoholics?

There are so many reasons why families protect their alcoholic loved one/s. One of the main reasons is the fact that they do not want to lose them or break down their relationship with them. This is common in marriages where a partner is an alcoholic and because of the fear of a divorce, the sober partner will often refrain from putting pressure on them about getting alcohol treatment. The truth is that if the alcohol addiction is allowed to continue and flourish, you may be already losing them already! Some of the long term health effects of continuous alcohol abuse include cancer, cardiovascular disease and cirrhosis of the liver, which can all lead to death. The fear of becoming isolated and ridiculed by your own family members is another reason why alcoholic’s drinking problems are allowed to continue. For example, if one person decides that they are fed up with their loved one’s drinking and that person must either get treatment or leave, it may just cause them to look bad in the eyes of others. In some cases, family members may think that they are trying to help the alcoholic by giving them a roof over their heads, food and even money. In actual fact, they are actually helping the addict continue their alcohol abuse.

What Can Families Do?

Draw a Line

Now is the time to set boundaries and limits, but this does not mean that you have to be rude or hurtful towards the alcoholic loved one. Learn how to say no in the correct manner. For example, if your loved one wants money, say something like this: “I love you and I care about you and for this reason, I’m not giving you any money.”

Stick with your Decisions

Its one thing setting these boundaries, it’s a completely different story when trying to maintain them. For example, telling your loved one that they can’t stay with you anymore until they decide to get alcohol treatment is good, but would you still stick to your decision if he or she comes knocking at your door at 2am in the morning? Allowing your alcoholic loved one to breach the boundary once will make it easier for them to do it again.  They have to know that you are serious about your decision and you have to let them take responsibility for their own actions, regardless of how much you love them. Show them that you are ready to lose the relationship. The alcoholic may be upset about the limits you have set and may even say hurtful things, but you cannot sit and help your loved one throw their life way.

Provide Alcohol Treatment Options

While it may seem like a lost cause, it’s not. You may notice that they may deny the fact that they have a drinking problem, despite seeing the all the harm it’s causing to them. The truth is that this is normal and even if they don’t want to get into treatment, it will have no effect on whether it is successful or not. The best thing to do is to give your alcoholic loved one a few options on how they can get alcohol treatment. Getting professional medical help is the safest way to overcome this disease. That’s where we come in. We provide access to the best private alcohol treatment centers in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Thailand.

Call us now and let one of our qualified addiction counsellors find the best treatment for your loved one.

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