Caring for a Someone With Alcohol Misuse Challenges

Alcohol consumption is a behavior which is driven by multiple factors both genetically and environmentally. It is important to be cognizant of the impact of the situations or the experiences one undergoes that leads to their alcohol use. However it is also important to note that there’s a difference between alcohol use and alcohol abuse (Addiction or dependency). Having that clear understanding would set a pace on how to best support the victims involved.

The following are some of the tips caregivers can execute to help someone going through Alcoholism;

  • Being empathetic; this will allow the victim to open up more on some of the issues they’re going through because of the element of understanding. It will also give them confidence to pursue any treatment intervention that would be recommended by either the psychologist, psychiatrist or the care givers.
  • Avoid calling them derogatory names such as “ALCOHOLICS”: Before someone becomes dependent on alcohol, there’s a precipitating factor that triggers that behavior; it could either be having financial issues, marital issues, work stress, personal issues or even past or present trauma (Both physical and emotional). As they go through these issues, their bodies automatically go to the mode of finding escape routes to their issues. In this case, alcohol would serve as a coping mechanism because of the immediate pleasure effect it elicits. It is very crucial to be sensitive on what they might be going through so as to boost their self-esteem, self-confidence and self- efficacy to find better coping strategies to their issues.
  • Getting them to see a mental health practitioner (Either a psychiatrist or a psychologist); through this, the victim will feel supported and understood. It will also open up opportunities to allow the person to explore their lives intricately and identify their triggers and also weigh the severity of the situation. It will also bring an aspect of unraveling underlying issues that would potentially lead to development of other psychiatric illnesses such as depression and Anxiety. If the person is assessed to be having a pre-existing mental disorder, then appropriate treatment strategies will follow.
  • Engaging them in activities and functions; this is very crucial because the person will still feel loved and appreciated despite their alcohol behavior. Reintegrating them to their social settings will enabled them to get their motivations back and become even more industrious. Emotional support is very important as it fosters relationships and creates a sense of acceptance.
  • Engaging them in conversations that is centered around their personal goals and their past achievements; through this, the person will feel more confident about their personal goals and even developing motivation to achieve them.
  • Enroll them in a support group like the Alcohol Anonymous (AA); this will enable them resonate with other people’s experiences and adopt ideas on how to best manage their situation.

Blog by: Khalifa Khalid

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