Alcohol addiction does not receive the attention or respect it deserves. People often talk about drugs like methamphetamine, fentanyl or heroin when discussing addiction. Even the nicotine contained in tobacco products receives more acknowledgment as an addictive substance than alcohol does in many circles.
Realistically, alcohol is one of the most addictive and most commonly-abused drugs in the United States. People often assume that anyone can drink socially without developing a problem, but that simply isn’t true for everyone. Many alcoholics do not acknowledge that they have a drinking problem. In fact, they may actively try to hide their consumption habits from friends, family members and coworkers.
Those who know someone who drinks frequently may worry about their loved one. How can someone who worries about an individual with an alcohol addiction help them overcome their challenges?
Acknowledge and discuss the risks
There are three main types of consequences associated with alcohol abuse. People who have to acknowledge those risks might be willing to admit they need help. The first type of risk is medical. People can damage their livers and put themselves at increased risk for certain kinds of cancer by regularly consuming too much alcohol.
The second type of risk relates to social consequences, including employment issues. People who drink too much and too frequently may alienate themselves from their support networks and put themselves at risk of sudden job loss.
Finally, there are legal consequences to consider. Many people with alcohol addiction issues eventually run afoul of the law, possibly because of a driving under the influence (DUI) offense. The criminal penalties possible for a Florida DUI conviction include jail time, fines and driver’s license suspension. Those who regularly drink could also end up involved in fights that lead to assault charges or petty theft in an attempt to secure funds for alcohol.
Offer support and resources
Someone struggling with alcohol addiction very likely requires counseling and social support. Loved ones can help someone connect with the right therapy or rehabilitation support when they are ready to undergo treatment. Family members may also need to help those facing DUI charges respond appropriately. Encouraging someone to undergo treatment, pursue adjudication in the DUI courts and fight back against charges could ultimately reduce the long-term harm generated by an alcohol addiction.
Offering support and guidance can help people reduce the negative impact that alcohol addiction may have on a loved one. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help.