Do you have an alcoholic friend and are concerned about their health, safety, and well-being? Here are ways you can help them out.
Despite millions of Filipino drinkers succumbing to problematic drinking patterns, alcohol is still being downplayed in our culture. After all, it is a legal substance, even if it’s one of the most highly addictive along with meth, cocaine, and heroin, to name a few.
A Society of Drinkers
In an article by Business Mirror, Dr. Diana A. Payawal of the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology shared that 5 million of Filipinos are alcohol drinkers. In fact, we Filipinos are considered as one of the heaviest drinkers in Asia, if not the world. We are third in the world when it comes to rum consumption, and first in gin. We are also second in Asia when it comes to overall alcohol consumption.
Still, drinking alcohol is so normalized and embedded in our culture. It is prevalent in the media and is even a touted as a way to celebrate wins, big or small. And this is exactly why it’s important to help someone who is struggling, perhaps an alcoholic friend, and support them through their journey.
Helping an Alcoholic Friend
Alcoholism is defined as a psychological and physical dependence on alcohol.
A person can have various levels of alcoholic use disorder (or alcohol addiction). This can be mild, severe, or life-threatening. A person may have alcohol dependence or alcohol addiction and not even know it. Perhaps an alcoholic friend or family member may be in denial. Nevertheless, it’s important for them to realize that they are hurting themselves and those around them. And let’s not forget that alcohol may also lead to accidents. It is one of the world’s most prevalent reasons for road accidents is driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages.
Below are ways you can help an alcoholic friend to find help and be on the road to overcoming alcohol addiction for good.
How to Help an Alcoholic Friend
- Lean about alcohol addiction. Before you can intervene, it’s important to understand where your friend is coming from and what could be happening to them. This way, you can have more empathy and can effectively provide the right kind of support they need.
First, you have to teach yourself about the difference of alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. There are various ways of social drinking that you may look into as well. It’s also important to know the dangers of alcohol addiction, including the development of the addiction.
Having this information will allow you to be more understanding and empathetic. You can better understand the changes that happen to your alcoholic friend, and then determine how to best approach them and offer support.
- Find a path towards healing and recovery. You can understand that there are many factors that contribute to a person developing addiction. Aside from family history and genetics, as well as trauma, they may also have trouble coping with current situations in their lives. All these come into play. Understanding and addressing these can also help in their healing. As a friend, what you can do is to research on the kind of help that your friend needs, as well as the treatment options available to them. Consider an alcohol rehab such as Bridges of Hope as an option, and find a center closest to your friend.
- Listen and support, but don’t enable. Now that you know the situation, the disease, and the options, you are in a better position to support and offer help. You will understand certain behaviors that you can allow and the boundaries you can set with them. This can help you become more understanding that your initial attempts at intervention. Initially, directing them to get help may be met with denial, anger, and even aggression. They may not accept that they have a problem and will be closed to the idea of getting treatment. As a friend, what you can do is to help them avoid triggers.
Learn About Alcohol Addiction Treatment
There is no single right way to overcoming alcohol addiction. Furthermore, there’s no overnight cure. It is a process, and this may take a life time of management. But it’s important to take that crucial first step.
To learn more about addiction treatment option, contact us at Bridges of Hope: 09175098826.