man keeps drunk friend suffering from alcohol addiction in Oregon from grabbing his keys at the bar

How to Help an Alcoholic Friend

Watching another person suffer from alcohol addiction in Oregon can lead to immense emotional disturbance. Nobody wants to watch someone they care about slowly kill themselves through substance use. Unfortunately, most people who find themselves in this position do not know how to help an alcoholic friend. It can sometimes be more difficult than helping an alcoholic family member, as you may have less authority with the individual in question.

Helping an alcoholic friend seek alcohol addiction treatment will not be easy, but a few tips can help you raise your chances of success. If you need information on how to help an alcoholic friend, the following should prove useful.

Is My Friend an Alcoholic?

The first step in helping an alcoholic friend is identifying whether they actually suffer from alcoholism. Many non-alcoholics will occasionally engage in binge drinking without necessarily suffering from alcohol use disorder. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the signs of alcohol addiction generally include:

  •       Extensive time spent on drinking, sometimes to the point of sickness
  •       Inability to quit or cut back, despite the desire to do so
  •       Continued drinking despite personal, professional or legal consequences
  •       Reduced interest in hobbies and activities that do not involve alcohol
  •       Frequent blackouts or memory loss when drinking
  •       Increased tolerance, necessitating more alcohol to achieve the same buzz
  •       Difficulty maintaining responsibilities due to drunkenness or hangovers
  •       Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal after short periods of abstinence

Anyone searching for answers on how to help an alcoholic friend should start by looking for these signs. If you can identify three or more symptoms of alcoholism in your friend or loved one, they may be struggling with alcohol addiction. In this case, you can do a few things to help.

Helping an Alcoholic Friend

Most people will not think to ask how to help an alcoholic friend until after they have tried unsuccessfully to help on their own. Usually, those who cannot help their friend to see the problematic nature of their drinking are those who utilize the wrong communication styles.

When helping an alcoholic friend, you cannot preach to them or come across too aggressively. This will only make them more defensive. Furthermore, you cannot enable them by lying for them and simply hoping they will resolve the problem on their own. This only reinforces their behaviors by allowing them to get away without consequences.

The best way to help an alcoholic friend is simply to address the issue with love and concern. Do not attempt to ride the problem out, but do not think that you can scream until it goes away. Educate yourself on alcohol addiction in Oregon and learn that it changes the way a person thinks. Your friend’s judgment is impaired, and you cannot expect them to simply quit cold turkey. Furthermore, you must accept that they will need your continued support after they do decide to quit. Nobody can recover alone, and your friendship will mean the world to them as they navigate a new chapter of their life.

Your friend may not initially accept your offer of support. Sometimes, helping an alcoholic friend can mean seeking intervention assistance to address the issue more formally. An interventionist can help you and your friend’s other loved ones express your concern in a healthier fashion, raising the chances that your friend will hear your message and seek alcohol rehab.

Learning to Help Yourself

Some alcoholics require multiple interventions before they quit, but many will come around in time. Meanwhile, you should focus on your own well-being to the best of your ability. Friends and family members affected by a loved one’s drinking often seek support through Al-Anon. This program allows you to voice your concerns among others who understand how it feels to watch a loved one drink themselves to death.

Al-Anon notes that many alcoholics are more likely to enter recovery when they see someone they care about working their own program to better themselves. By learning to take care of yourself, you may very well help your alcoholic friend decide it’s time for them to make the same choice.

Treating Alcohol Addiction in Oregon

Once your friend agrees to enter treatment, one final step remains. You must now decide how to help your alcoholic friend choose the right level of treatment. Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, so you may wish to recommend they enter a facility such as Aspire Oregon. This way, they can receive proper alcohol withdrawal treatment before moving onto the later stages of rehabilitation.

Not all alcoholics begin treatment in detox, but it is generally considered safer to undergo a full continuum of care—especially at a facility such as Aspire Oregon, which is more than equipped to prepare them for the long road that lies before them as they enter recovery from alcoholism.

If you need more information on Aspire Oregon, or simply more information on how to help an alcoholic friend, feel free to contact Aspire Health Network with any further questions you may have about alcohol addiction in Oregon. We will assist you in helping your loved one recover from alcoholism.