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How to Encourage a Loved One to Seek Help For Their Alcohol Addiction

a therapist holds a person as they talk

Between 18% and 20% of Californians participate in excessive drinking. For some, this can look like heavy social drinking on the weekends. For others, it can become an alcohol addiction. 

If you believe that your loved one is struggling with an alcohol problem, you may want to encourage them to seek out alcohol rehabilitation. However, you may not know how to approach it.

Talking to a loved one about addiction is a delicate process. Taking the appropriate steps and managing your expectations will help you navigate these important conversations.

Read on to learn more about how to engage your loved one about seeking help and find rehab centers in Tennessee.

Recognizing Alcohol Addiction

If you’re concerned about your loved one’s drinking, it may be worth discussing it with them. More people have turned to alcohol during the pandemic than in previous years, leading to an uptick in the rate of alcohol abuse in California.

However, it is important to recognize the signs of alcohol addiction before recommending any of the alcohol treatment centers. Not everyone will need to enter a rehab program to cut back or stop drinking. 

What are the signs of alcohol addiction? Potential warning signs include:

  • Neglecting responsibilities such as work or caregiving as a result of drinking
  • Binge drinking on a regular basis or drinking more than intended
  • Lying about drinking 
  • Blacking out or not remembering what was said or done while drinking
  • Continuing to drink alcohol despite interpersonal problems it may be causing
  • Using alcohol to self-medicate for mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD

If any of these signs sound familiar, it is likely that your loved one has a drinking problem. Opening the floor to a conversation may be a good place to start. 

Tips For Encouraging Your Loved One to Seek Treatment

As we mentioned earlier, approaching the topic of alcohol abuse or addiction is a delicate process. There are certain things you should take into consideration before diving right in. 

One of the most important things you should do is manage your expectations. Remember, seeking help is a decision that your loved one ultimately has to come to on their own. You can’t force anyone to consider rehab if they aren’t ready or willing to go.

We do have tips we can offer to facilitate a calm, open discussion. Consider the following steps that can help when talking to a loved one about a drinking problem:

  • Pick a time when you and your loved one are calm and your loved one has not consumed alcohol
  • Try to stay calm and neutral, expressing your concern without expressing judgment 
  • Encourage your loved one to express their feelings about both their drinking habits and about the conversation at hand

The goal is to create a space that is safe for you and for your loved one. If you or your loved one feel threatened or at risk of harm, stop the conversation and reevaluate. You may find that staging an intervention is more successful, but the above tips still apply. 

What to Avoid When Talking About Addiction

Just like there are tips to create a safer environment for this conversation to take place, there are also tips for things to avoid. You may find it difficult to avoid some of these emotional and verbal reactions. We recommend preparing yourself and rehearsing what you want to say before beginning the conversation.

What should you try to avoid when talking to a loved one about an alcohol problem? Consider the following reactions that may cause more harm than good:

  • Taking it personally if your loved one is not ready to admit that they have a drinking problem
  • Taking it personally if your loved one has a negative reaction to your conversation
  • Threatening punishment if your loved one does not cooperate
  • Offering bribes or incentives for your loved one to cooperate
  • “Preaching” or lecturing your loved one about the dangers of alcohol abuse

In addition, you should never blame yourself for your loved one’s alcohol addiction. It is important to remember that as adults, you both possess agency in this life. You can make the choice not to hide or enable your loved one’s addiction, but you can’t make the choice for them to seek treatment. 

Helping Your Loved One Find Alcohol Rehabilitation 

If your loved one is open to seeking treatment, your continued support can help them take that next step. Ways that you can help include:

  • Offering to go with them to talk to a doctor or mental health professional
  • Staying with them while they call a hotline for alcohol abuse
  • Helping them create an action plan that includes entering into an alcohol rehabilitation program

Most people find that seeking medical and therapeutic help is the best way to recover and maintain sobriety. Help your loved one evaluate different treatment options in Tennessee.

Inpatient and outpatient treatment options are available. For aftercare, you can encourage your loved one to explore options such as sober living housing units, 12-step programs, and more. 

Consider Apex Recovery When Looking For TN Rehab Centers

Having a conversation with a loved one about alcohol addiction isn’t always easy. However, taking those first steps and encouraging that they seek help can make all the difference in the world. Helping your loved one find the right Tennessee alcohol rehabilitation option for them is one of the most supportive things that you can do.

As you look at rehab centers in Tennessee, we encourage you to consider APEX. We have successfully treated a wide variety of addiction problems as well as accompanying mental health issues. Find out why APEX is the right choice and contact us today.

Call Our Toll-Free Hotline 24/7 at 877.881.2689