Unlike other diseases, there’s no pill one can take to cure alcoholism. In order to help a loved one, the only thing friends and relatives can do is to confront that person about the addiction.
Of course, this is easier said than done, which is why many people watch in silence as the people they love drink their lives away. Fortunately, the Midwest Institute for Addiction—which offers outpatient rehab facilities in St Louis, MO—gives the following advice to make the confrontation easier:
Have a Rehabilitation Plan
Think of the confrontation as a campaign to rescue your loved one from the maw of alcoholism. As with any battle, one has to have a plan in order to succeed. In this case, the first preparation you should make is to find and consult with a trusted St Louis rehabilitation center. Remember, alcoholism is rarely, if ever, overcome by a person without professional help.
Pick a Good Time
Talking to an inebriated person is about as effective as talking to an empty beer bottle. The best time to confront an alcohol-dependent individual is the morning after, when the liquor has already left their system. Oftentimes, they will feel guilt or remorse for binge drinking, which makes breaking through to them that much easier.
Emphasize Your Concerns and Feelings
How you express yourself during the confrontation is of utter importance. Don’t sound like you’re lecturing to the person, as this will only cause them to be defensive; rather, focus the discussion on how their behavior hurts your relationship. To drive your point home, mention specific details, like dates when they came home drunk, how much money has been spent on alcohol, and how the habit affects your kids, relatives, or friends.
Don’t Cave In
As this article from LifeScript.com says, people with alcohol dependence often say anything just to get out of rehab, so don’t cave in to their pleas:
“Alcoholics often manipulate coworkers and family members into believing they’ll change their behavior. Family members often enable alcoholic loved ones by covering up their behavior and making excuses for them. If this is your M.O., the problem drinker may assume they can wheedle their way out of going to rehab or make promises during the intervention that they don’t intend to keep. For an intervention to work, family members must stick to their guns when they demand certain changes from the alcoholic, and make their own changes, too, including following through with promises to leave the relationship if the loved one doesn’t stop drinking.”
(Source: 9 Suggestions For Confronting An Alcoholic, LifeScript.com, October 20, 2013)