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How to Help an Alcoholic?

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

How to Help an Alcoholic?

Alcoholism is a horrible disease that affects not only the alcoholic, but also his/her family and friends. If you have lived with an alcoholic, you are all too familiar with living with broken promises, lies and manipulations, and hurt and anger. If you are trying to help someone who is struggling with alcoholism, it is helpful to understand the strategies that help and those that don’t.

What doesn’t work:

  • Trying to Control the Amount of Alcohol Consumption – When you see someone whose drinking is out of control, it is only natural to try to control the amount of their alcohol consumption. Unfortunately, this rarely works. Instead, the result is often an increase in arguments, manipulation, lies, and hiding of the alcohol. The more you try to control the alcoholic, the more likely you are to feel out of control.
  • Bargaining with the Alcoholic – Another common mistake that people make when trying to help and alcoholic is to bargain with them. “If you don’t drink tonight, we’ll ………… tomorrow”, or “If you just have one drink tonight, then I promise that I’ll………..” Unfortunately, these bargains are rarely kept and instead become the fuel for future resentments.  
  • Yelling/Arguing – You can never yell loud enough to convince an alcoholic to stop drinking. Instead, they tend to use the arguments as an excuse to drink in the future. 
  • Threatening – Don’t threaten actions if you aren’t willing to follow through with them. Many people threaten action in hopes of convincing the alcoholic to change. Unfortunately, over time, the alcoholic learns to ignore the threats and the person who is delivering them. 
  • Shaming – Alcoholics are already filled with shame. Calling them “worthless” or other names doesn’t make them want to stop drinking. Instead they use it as an excuse to drink in the future. 
  • Denial – Pretending like there is no problem or refusing to talk about it, doesn’t make the problem go away. It only makes you feel crazy, alone, and resentful. 

What does help

  • Learn about recovery – The more that you know about recovery, the better you can help the alcoholic and yourself. Recovery is more than just getting sober. It is a lifelong process that involves emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual growth.  
  • Take control over your own life first – If you want to make yourself feel crazy, try to control things that you have no control over. Instead, ask yourself questions such as: “What do I have control of and what am I going to do about those things that I can control?” “Which of my own behaviors can I change?” “If the alcoholic never quits drinking, how do I want to live my life?”  
  • Be honest with yourself and others – Be honest with others and yourself about the effects that the alcohol abuse is having on you and your family. The more that you can talk openly about the problems, the less crazy you tend to feel and the more support that you tend to create.  
  • Talk openly with the alcoholic before they start drinking – Many people argue with the alcoholic when they are drinking and avoid the discussions when they are sober. Flip this process upside down. Have open dialogue when the alcoholic is sober, even if the conversations are uncomfortable. This is when the alcoholic is most able to have meaningful dialogue.  
  • Set limits that you can live with – Don’t make threats that you aren’t willing to follow. Instead, set meaningful limits that you can live with and then follow through with those limits. For example, “If you are drinking, I will not ride in the car with you.” 
  • Get help for yourself - Remember, that addiction affects everyone in the family, not just the alcoholic. Seek support, such as Al-anon, and counseling with a therapist who is experienced in working with addiction.  
  • Get help from others – Enlisting the help of others who care about the alcoholic can be a powerful tool. 
  • Act during times of crisis – No alcoholic gets help when things are going well. Alcoholics only tend to get help during times of crisis. This crisis may occur when they get a DUI, lose a job, are threatened with the loss of their marriage, or some other crisis. During crisis, alcoholics tend to more receptive to getting help. If you know an alcoholic that is in crisis, get them into treatment quickly. 
  • Interventions – An Intervention is a formal process of confronting the alcoholic about their drinking. This process usually involves multiple people and is designed to help create a controlled crisis that often brings the alcoholic into treatment.  

If you want more information about ways to help an alcoholic, contact the staff at New Dimensions at 1-800-685-9796.

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Drinking Problem?

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Ever wonder why people around you can control their drinking when you can’t? Ever wonder if you have a drinking problem? Ever regretted drinking too much the night before? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, then you might have a drinking problem. No one likes to admit that they have a drinking problem. After all, alcohol is all around us and is a part of our culture. Yet, not everyone is able to control their drinking. In fact, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, over 15 million adults in 2015 had an Alcohol Use Disorder. In other words, if you have a drinking problem you are not alone.

Signs of a Drinking Problem

  • You keep drinking when others around you quit.
  • You drink more than you intended to.
  • Drinking begins to affect your mood.
  • You frequently get in arguments with others after you have been drinking.
  • You can’t imagine being in a social setting without drinking.
  • You have had a DUI or other legal issues because of your drinking.
  • You feel “hung over” after drinking.
  • Your family or friends have started to complain about your drinking.
  • You have missed work, school, or some other function because of your drinking.
  • You begin to hide how much you are drinking.

If you are having trouble managing your alcohol use, the first step in overcoming this problem is to admit the problem to yourself and others. Once you openly admit the problem, it becomes easier to get help and to take the steps that are necessary to get your life back in control. If you have a drinking problem in Houston, Katy, The Woodlands, Clear Lake, League City, Friendswood, Galveston, Spring, Pearland, Baytown, Pasadena, Richmond, Sugar Land, Conroe, Cypress, Kingwood, Humble, or surrounding areas, New Dimensions can help. Call us at 1-800-685-9796 to learn more.

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How to deal with trauma from the Santa Fe High School Shooting

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

As a community we are grieving the tragic losses from the recent events at Santa Fe High School. There are no words to adequately express the sadness that we feel for the victims and their families. Our hearts go out to those that are suffering as they begin the process of dealing with this tragedy.   Read More . . .

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