Living with an Alcoholic When a family member drinks too much

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy. It’s also important to ask your loved one directly what you can do to help, especially during special events where alcohol may be served. It’s not necessarily the best idea to confront your loved one on your own. Instead, it’s best to encourage them to get help without accusations or judgment.

  • Problems that occur with alcoholics are not about how much you drink, how often you drink, or what you lost because you drink.
  • Social drinking has become far more acceptable in Indian community, but the problem drinking is often viewed as stigmatic.
  • Complicating matters, sometimes family and friends enable their behavior to continue.
  • The family members of an alcoholic may hear multiple complaints.
  • In all situations, it’s important for the couple to attend a therapy program to remedy problem behaviors.

Ask other family members for help with child care, transportation, or just chores that are sliding because of coping with an alcoholic spouse. Calling it an alcohol use disorder, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA warns that only about 9% of identified alcoholics receive treatment. Your influence can make a big difference in whether your loved one chooses treatment or not. The FHE Health team is committed to providing accurate information that adheres to the highest standards of writing. This is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure FHE Health is trusted as a leader in mental health and addiction care. Addiction is a brain disease and has negative consequences on how a person behaves and thinks.

How Do You Live With an Alcoholic? 8 Expert Tips

You may want to seek out a support group for spouses, family, or friends who have been negatively affected by alcoholism. There are many things that can keep someone addicted in denial. Not knowing what sobriety will be like can keep someone from changing even though their alcohol use has caused them problems. They might want to avoid feeling shame or embarrassment when admitting they have a problem. Complicating matters, sometimes family and friends enable their behavior to continue.

They may be unable to limit their drinking, continue to drink even though it’s causing problems in their life, and have a strong, constant craving for alcohol. Unlike moderate drinking individuals, people with alcoholism cannot simply “cut back” or stop drinking without help. An alcohol abuse problem can include binge drinking, having negative consequences such as hangovers with your drinking but continuing anyway, and drinking despite the desire to stop. Since they seem to be put together from an outside perspective, it can be difficult for them (or you!) to see they have a problem. Try to be impartial when looking at the symptoms of AUDs if your spouse seems to fit this profile. It may be necessary to consider residential treatment, where qualified professionals can stabilize and treat your spouse.

When They Began Drinking

As the body weakens, people with alcohol use disorder are prone to picking up infections and illnesses. Heavy drinkers are more likely to develop tuberculosis and pneumonia compared to people who don’t drink alcohol. A person having a problem drinking can have more illnesses and in turn give them to family and friends. Another organ that receives a direct hit from alcohol abuse is the liver. The liver processes alcohol and removes it from your bloodstream.

how to live with an alcoholic

When you read through the questions of these assessment instruments, you will see how interested they are in determining behavior as well as the effects of consumption. If their behaviors are leaning towards a problem, then it is most likely these behaviors are affecting you and the family’s quality of life. It is common for families to gauge the severity of an alcohol use disorder how to live with an alcoholic based on alcohol consumption. The alcoholic may be able to hide the alcohol, and it is far more difficult to hide the behaviors. One would hope a family could understand the importance of a substance user surrendering to professional help. The substance user has most likely been unable to navigate sobriety or addiction recovery efforts on their own resources and thoughts.

Understanding Alcohol Addiction Treatment

You do not have to put up with unacceptable behavior in your life. Keep in mind that someone with alcohol dependence usually goes through a few stages before they are ready to make a change. You don’t have to create a crisis, but learning detachment will help you allow a crisis—one that may be the only way to create change—to happen. You may still want to help your loved one when they are in the middle of a crisis. However, a crisis is usually the time when you should do nothing.

  • If their behaviors are leaning towards a problem, then it is most likely these behaviors are affecting you and the family’s quality of life.
  • Having a beer with lunch or celebrating a holiday during the daytime is far different than routinely having drinks during the day.
  • The emotions become intergenerational even if the alcohol doesn’t.
  • Maintain personal relationships with friends and family, as they can be an important part of your support system.

Having an understanding group of people to share thoughts, fears and victories, can make the battle worthwhile. Support groups are a vital part of the recovery plan for an alcoholic, and they should never be dismissed as time wasted. It wasn’t founded by doctors or mental health professionals, but by people who saw the benefit in alcoholics sharing their stories with each other. People from all walks of life and age groups have benefited from this organization and others like it. In particular, individual counseling may be helpful for you because you’ll learn more about setting healthy boundaries and coping strategies to use when you need them.

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