Alcohol is by far the most misused substance in the world. Most of us know at least one person who has an alcohol use disorder, and we may know other people who have issues we don’t even know about. You may know someone who is recovering from an alcohol use disorder. If so, here are some ways you can help support his or her recovery.
Respect their boundaries.
It can be hard for someone who has never struggled with addiction to understand what it’s like. It may seem like a simple matter to you to go to a bar and not have a drink, but for someone just starting to recover from alcohol addiction, that may seem impossible. If your friend or loved one is trying to avoid situations that might trigger him, respect that wish and be flexible.
Abstain in solidarity.
One of the easiest ways to support someone in recovery is to not drink around him. For people who don’t have a substance use issue, this is usually pretty easy. If you go to dinner, get tea or water instead of wine or beer. If you invite him over, offer something besides alcohol and have the same thing. People sometimes feel self-conscious about being the only person in the group not drinking. Even having one other person abstain makes it much easier.
Consider their needs.
When making plans, think about how it will affect the person in recovery. Will it be boring if he’s not drinking? Will there be people there who might be triggering? Usually, it’s not that much trouble to accomodate the needs of someone in recovery. It might even be an opportunity to try new things and find ways to have fun that don’t involve alcohol.
Be willing to listen.
One of the best things you can do for someone recovering from alcohol addiction is to be a good listener. Addiction rarely comes alone. There is often a mental health issue, a trauma, or stress that goes with it. Listen to what your friend tells you and don’t judge. Knowing he has your support is a major factor in staying sober.
Learn about addiction.
It may help to know a little about addiction. There are a lot of misconceptions about addiction floating around, such as that addiction is the result of a lack of willpower or some kind of character flaw. In reality, addiction typically results from some combination of genetic predisposition and life circumstances, factors over which most people have very little control.
Take some pressure off.
Stress is the number one cause of relapse. People feel overwhelmed, they stop caring about recovery, and turn to their old coping mechanism. See if there’s some way you can lighten the load. Take care of some errands, postpone plans, or call in a favor on his behalf. Even small things can make a big difference.
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.