Alcohol Awareness Month

This article was written by James Malervy and published by RCA.


April is Alcoholism Awareness Month, and Recovery Centers of America wants to spread awareness about the dangers of alcoholism and substance use disorder. There’s still quite a bit of stigma surrounding the topic of alcoholism — and those struggling with addiction often feel guilt and shame, which is why they hide their substance use from friends and family.

At Recovery Centers of America, we believe that education is key to dissolving the stigma–and a solid individualized treatment program is the way to get patients and their loved ones on the road to lifelong recovery.

By learning more about alcoholism, you’ll get insight as to why it may occur in some individuals but not others, how it affects the brain, and what signs and symptoms to look for.
Here are seven essential tips on how to approach and talk to a loved one or friend suffering from alcoholism.

1. Learn About Alcohol Use Disorder

By learning more about alcoholism, you’ll get insight as to why it may occur in some individuals but not others, how it affects the brain, and what signs and symptoms to look for.
Arguably the greatest stigma surrounding addiction is that it’s simply a weakness or character flaw. However, once you learn more about how substance use disorders affect the brain and body, you’ll understand that it is, in fact, a disease.

2. Think About the Conversation

Talking to friends or family members about their alcoholism won’t be easy. You’ll likely need to have several conversations before getting through to them. And you may never get through to them.
Recovery Centers of America suggests framing each conversation as supportive and positive. Use “I” statements to avoid placing blame or shame and be prepared for any reaction. Remember, it’s about creating a safe space and building trust, so remain calm and supportive.

3. Choose the Right Time and Place

These conversations need to happen in a peaceful and private place where your loved one will feel safe to open up to you. Avoid busy places such as coffee shops or parks, as the surrounding activity can be triggering and distracting. More important, ensure your loved one is sober for your talk. If you need suggestions on the right time and place, Recovery Centers of America is just a phone call away.

4. Be a Good Listener

In addition to sharing your concerns, you need to listen with an empathetic ear. Getting people with alcoholism to open up and talk about their experiences and feelings is no easy feat, which is why Recovery Centers of America suggests that you be mindful not to pass judgment or add to your loved one’s feelings of guilt and shame.

5. Support, But Don’t Enable

While you cannot force friends or family members to get help, you can be supportive. This could mean being someone they can talk to judgment-free, helping them get treatment information, helping them talk to their parents or spouse, and including them in sober activities to show them what life can be like without alcohol.

Here at Recovery Centers of America, we acknowledge that part of being supportive is setting healthy boundaries — for yourself and your loved ones. Let them know that you’ll always be there when they need a shoulder to lean on, but you won’t be there while they’re drinking, and you won’t enable them in any way.

6. Intervene with Assistance

Interventions can be complex and difficult, but they can be the key to a successful recovery from addiction. To make sure you get the best outcome for all parties involved, Recovery Centers of America provides free intervention services. Our team of experienced professionals will be there to provide the resources, education, and support you need to make the process smoother and less overwhelming. Our experts will guide you and your loved one along every step of the journey, so that you have the best chance of supporting your loved one to get help.

7. Take Care of Yourself

Helping someone with alcoholism can be frustrating and emotionally draining. Here at Recovery Centers of America, we understand the toll Alcohol Use Disorder takes on families and loved ones Stress can lead to burnout and resentment, making it difficult to want to continue helping. Practicing self-care and prioritizing your life and needs is the best way to help someone in need. Recovery Centers of America is here to help with treatment programs for both you and your loved one—so that you can both begin a journey to long-term recovery and health.

Recognized by Newsweek magazine as one of the top drug and alcohol treatment centers in the U.S., Recovery Centers of America offers evidence-based treatment with a multidisciplinary team of masters-level clinicians, nurses, psychiatrists, and recovery support specialists. We also offer free intervention services, family services, and alumni aftercare programs.

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