How do You Live with Someone Suffering From Alcoholism?
Any amount of alcohol can prove to have dangerous consequences, some of which can be life-threatening. Alcoholism is more than the occasional drink or a random glass of wine. Heavy drinkers and those who binge drink are at an increased risk for developing alcoholism. When someone drinks consistently, in high quantities, their tolerance will begin to rise. This will cause the person to seek more and more alcohol to achieve the same effects. Alcoholism is considered a brain disease and requires treatment.
There is also what is known as a high-functioning alcoholic. People who are high-functioning may appear as if nothing is amiss in their lives. Their work performance has not faltered, they have kept their grades up, and their relationships are intact. However, this facade usually does not last. Although someone who is a high-functioning alcoholic may be difficult to spot, it is not impossible. Look for subtle clues or red flags that may present themselves.
It is important to remember that the road to recovery is never out of reach and is available to everyone. Alcoholism cannot be treated at home or without the help of medical professionals. Doing so could prove to be life-threatening. Left untreated, alcoholism can cause serious mental, physical, and social effects.
Educate Yourself on Addiction
In order to have a clearer understanding of what your loved one is going through, it is important to become educated on the topic of addiction. You may find it useful to speak with your primary healthcare professional. Your doctor, by law, is required to keep your information and information you share confidential. They can provide you with advice, as well as direct you towards other resources that may be useful.
Addiction is a chronic brain disease that affects millions of lives. When alcohol enters the body, it directly affects your brain chemistry. The area that is specifically affected is known as the reward pathway. Dopamine in this pathway shoots up to abnormal levels, which would cause you to feel a “high”. This feeling soon fades away. However, your brain will seek to mimic this same feeling.
There is no set amount of alcohol that will cause someone to develop alcoholism. Each individual’s risk will depend on a variety of factors. These would include genetics, medical history, and any underlying issues. Addiction and alcoholism can happen to anyone. Suffering from alcoholism does not make someone a bad person, even though they may be demonstrating negative behaviors.
Cease Enabling Behavior
One of the first things you can do to help your loved one is often one of the most difficult things as well. You must stop enabling your loved one. This means that, even though it will annoy or anger your loved one, you must stop giving your loved one money or lying for them. You may suspect that your loved one who you are living with is lying, stealing your things, or spending money you give them on alcohol.
In order to stop this, you need to stop giving who you are living with money. Otherwise, you are enabling their alcoholism and are part of the problem. If you are worried that they need food or other necessities, it would be wise to ask for receipts or buy it for them yourself.
It is also important to stop covering for your loved one. Do not lie for them. Family members may ask why that person is not around or what they are up to. You may be compelled to say that they are feeling under the weather or are just busy. You are not “ratting them out” if you speak the truth. This will help to hold them accountable for their actions.
Set boundaries and rules. If you notice your loved one is stealing your things, set consequences for their actions. Make some new house rules and explain how you will both be sticking to these rules. This, however, does not warrant you to be hostile or judgmental. Always stick with the facts and never place an opinion over your loved one. If a conversation ever becomes heated, remain calm and collected.
Seek the Support You Deserve
Handling the situations and experiences that surround living with an alcoholic is not easy. It comes with its own set of trials. Know that you do not have to go through this alone and you can seek support as well. You will be better equipped to take on the task of helping your loved one if you seek the help you deserve too.
Talk with your primary doctor to get started, as they will have your medical history on file. From there, you may be guided to partake in therapy sessions or may even consider joining a local support group. This will help you meet like-minded people who are going through similar situations such as yourself.
Should I Leave?
If the person you are living with ever becomes hostile or abusive, contact authorities and leave the premises. You do not ever want to put yourself in a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation, no matter how much you love that person. Someone who is a danger to you or your children do not deserve to have you around. You may feel like this is abandoning your loved one, but it is not. It is helping them realize that there are consequences to their actions and they may begin to take responsibility.
Get Help From a Professional Treatment Center
Offer your love and support to your loved one. Explain to them that they need to get treatment for their alcoholism in order to get better. Professional treatment centers will guide your loved one through the path to recovery and help them every step of the way, ensuring a safe and healthy environment.
Arizona Addiction Recovery Center has a qualified team of professionals that provide individualized care for those suffering from alcoholism. Their healthcare professionals will help monitor your loved one through every step, setting them up for success. Call today to learn about their different treatment programs.