Alcohol Abuse and Dependence (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
For Family and Friends
If someone close to you has had a drinking problem, you know how hard it can be. You know how living or dealing with someone who abuses or is dependent on alcohol can change and even destroy your life. You're an important part of your loved one's treatment and recovery. Your emotions and life may change too, and taking care of yourself is also important.
It can be very hard to live with a family member who has a drinking problem. It's best not to try to control, excuse, or cover up the person's drinking. Instead, encourage your family member to seek treatment. Find a good time to talk to the person. To learn ways you can help someone get treatment, see:
Help with treatment and recovery
When the choice for treatment has been made, you play an important part. You can help your loved one stop drinking and help repair the damage done to your family or relationship. Here are some things you can do:
Take care of yourself
Taking care of yourself while you help your loved one is important. You probably will feel relief and happiness when the person decides to get help. But treatment and recovery mean changes in your life too. Your emotions may become more complicated. You may:
These feelings are normal. You've been through a bad period of your life, and what happened is not easy to forget. Nor is it easy to forgive your loved one. Keep in mind that recovery is the road to a better life and that you can help your loved one get there.
Find your own support
You may find that talking to people who also have loved ones with alcohol problems helps your own recovery. Al-Anon and similar programs are for people with family members or friends with alcohol problems. Other support groups are specially designed for certain age groups, such as Alateen for teens and Alatot for younger children.
These programs help you recover from the effects of being around someone who abused or was dependent on alcohol. You also may try family therapy.
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