Alcoholic beverages are a commonly consumed drink for recreation. When taken moderately, some alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine, have health benefits. However, when pushed to excessive amounts, many develop and suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)—which results in grave consequences on their families and loved ones.
The Trouble of AUD
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 14.4 million adults aged 18 and older suffer from some degree of AUD. Of this number, 9.2 million are men, and 5.3 million are women. However, only 8% of those males and 7.7 percent of females in this age group received treatment in the past year. In the same report, the NIAAA estimates that 88,000 people (62,000 men and 26,000 women) die due to alcohol-related accidents—making it the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States.
Getting Treatment for AUD
If you or someone you know is suffering from some form of alcohol abuse or AUD, know that it’s never too late to ask for help from a trusted treatment center like Solace Treatment Center. While it may take a multipronged approach, alcoholism is a medical issue that can be treated.
While it may be difficult, it’s important to let those suffering from AUD know that they have a problem. To help out in this regard, here are three helpful tips for confronting a family member suffering from AUD:
Contrary to popular belief, alcoholism is not caused simply by drinking too much alcohol. Therefore, quitting the destructive habit is not as easy as quitting cold turkey. Often, the destructive behavior is a result of other issues and can even run in families.
Scientists have yet to reach a consensus on the root cause of alcoholism. However, experts have found that frequent alcohol use results in chemical and physical changes in the brain. Some people have a natural predisposition for alcohol use, as their brains are wired to release dopamine, resulting in pleasurable feelings.
Over time, as the alcohol processes the alcohol, these pleasurable feelings fade and are replaced by hangovers and other withdrawal symptoms. Over time, the person has to consume more alcohol to feel “normal” instead of dealing with withdrawal symptoms. The problem is exacerbated when people develop a natural tolerance for alcohol, which keeps them vicious and wanting for more.
Don’t talk to them until they are sober
Intoxicated people are not in the best position to make mature decisions and may not even remember your conversation the next day. It’s also crucial to choose a safe and quiet place to maintain privacy and avoid distractions.
Be calm and don’t lash out
People suffering from AUD can cause a heavy emotional toll on their loved ones and immediate family. Therefore, it’s common to see family members unable to deal with the condition constructively. However, this does not mean that family members have no part to help the patient recover from AUD.
Instead of lashing out at the patient for their behavior while intoxicated, it’s best to let your feelings of hurt and anger pass before confronting them. As you’ll need to talk to them at some point, it’s wise to write down what you want to say. This allows you to carefully articulate your feelings in a calm and objective manner that is less likely to make the patient defensive.
Remember to use “I” statements and focus on your feelings. Avoid dwelling on their actions and concentrate on how it affects you and your other family members. This way, you can avoid accusations that tend to make people feel defensive.
The Bottom Line
People suffering from AUD are most likely aware of the damage they are doing to themselves—but they may not be conscious of how it affects the people around them. This is why it’s essential to focus on how their behavior affects you instead of heaping criticism. If you are open and honest in your approach, your conversation might just help them get the motivation to seek treatment.
It’s essential to recognize that, like any medical condition, AUD can be treated. However, the first step to recovery is acknowledging that you need help. California Addiction Help is one of the leading rehab centers in California, and we are ready to help you out. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you out.