According to the WHO, alcohol is responsible for around 5% of deaths worldwide every year, both directly and indirectly. It can kill slowly by eroding the body’s defenses, or quickly due to reckless behavior.
Often, it leads to permanent disability, destitution, or jail time. To be honest, excessive use of alcohol hasn’t got much going for it at all. Yet, for some, it still presents irresistible allure, regardless of the consequences.
So, if your loved one has stopped drinking, and wants to stay sober, it makes sense to help them in any way you can.
Keep reading for tips on how to help an alcoholic maintain their sobriety.
1. Encourage Them to Attend Outpatient Therapy
Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the best-known recovery organizations worldwide. At any time of day or night, there’s an AA meeting in progress somewhere on Earth.
There’s no fee attached to joining AA, and anyone can attend.
They can also attend both group and individual sessions with a qualified counselor, or medical professional who specializes in addiction.
Ongoing outpatient treatment is essential to maintain recovery from alcoholism.
2. Help an Alcoholic by Helping Yourself
If you live with a recovering addict or someone who is still trapped in the throes of addiction, there are meetings for you too.
Al-Anon centers around helping the significant others of addicts cope with their loved one’s behavior. These meetings will educate you about how addiction works and what you can do to assist recovery.
3. Give Them a Gift They Can Use
The Big Book is an excellent gift for recovering alcoholics. It’s considered the bible of AA literature and is widely used in meetings across the world.
If your significant other has attended an inpatient rehab facility, they’ve probably got a copy of this book, but you’ll find many other useful AA-approved books available online or in the library.
4. Avoiding Alcohol
Quitting drinking is a lot easier when you aren’t faced with booze-fuelled revelry. It’s vital for alcoholics in early recovery to avoid this kind of situation.
Many alcoholics with a few sober years under their belts have no problem with attending events where they’re serving alcohol, but it’s best to avoid these situations initially.
If you enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail with dinner or after work, rather switch to a non-alcoholic version of your drink, or avoid it altogether.
You must remove all alcohol from your home if you have an alcoholic living with you.
5. Encourage Healthy Activities
Instead of sitting around moping about the lack of entertainment in your lives, get your recovering alcoholic friend to join you in exciting booze-free activities.
All kinds of outdoor activities are a great way to get their mind off their troubles, and you’ll both have fun in the process.
Some branches of AA, and individual AA members, hold regular social gatherings. These are a great way to hang out with like-minded folk, and you can offer practical support by going along with your friend to enjoy these get-togethers.
Supporting an Alcoholic Through Thick and Thin
Alcoholism is a chronic disorder, and there’s no cure for it. That means, your friend has to practice active recovery every day for the rest of their lives.
If you want to help them survive, you’re going to have good and bad days along the way. The best you can do to help an alcoholic is to stand by them no matter what, even if it means practicing tough love from time to time.
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