Alcohol is one of the most commonly used substances in the country. In fact, more than 70% of adults in the United States have consumed alcohol in the past year and more than 25% binge drink. Due to the popularity and accessibility of alcohol, more than 15 million Americans ages 18 and older have an alcohol misuse disorder, which is why it’s so important for loved ones to learn how to help an alcoholic.
Although alcohol abuse disorders are relatively common and affect about 6% of Americans annually, few ultimately choose to receive treatment. Alcoholism can lead to damaging consequences such as legal problems, neurological damage, and cirrhosis. If you are wondering how to help an alcoholic, chances are you or a loved one is struggling with a drinking problem.
The best way to help an alcoholic is to encourage them to receive treatment. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can cause life-threatening symptoms, such as delirium tremors, which require immediate medical attention. Completing an alcohol treatment program greatly increases you or your loved one’s chances of maintaining sobriety.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism causes you to compulsively abuse alcohol despite experiencing negative consequences and having a desire to quit drinking. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, making it dangerous to mix with other substances, especially opiates and benzodiazepines.
In large amounts, alcohol can cause ethanol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning can cause you to stop breathing or lose consciousness and requires immediate medical attention. If left untreated, alcohol poisoning can be fatal.
When you consume alcohol, your brain releases a rush of pleasurable neurotransmitters like GABA. During intoxication, alcohol can impair your judgment, lower your inhibitions and impact your coordination. This can increase your chances of making poor decisions, such as driving while drunk or engaging in fights.
Common signs of alcoholism are:
- Blacking out while drinking
- Saying or doing things while drunk that you later regret
- Needing to drink in order to feel normal
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink
- Drinking shortly after waking up
Alcohol is physically addictive, meaning that you can experience harmful and even life-threatening symptoms if you immediately stop drinking. Attending inpatient or outpatient alcohol addiction treatment in San Diego, CA ensures that you remain safe during detox and have the support you need to achieve sobriety.
How to Help an Alcoholic
If you are wondering how to help an alcoholic, the best answer is to assist them in finding immediate treatment. Since alcoholism is a chronic and progressive condition, the longer you go without proper treatment, the more difficult it is to recover.
Alcoholism can cause:
- Neurological damage
- Liver damage
- Medical and mental health problems
- Employment, legal and financial issues
Another great answer to the question of how to help an alcoholic is to offer support and understanding while ensuring that you establish healthy boundaries and don’t enable their alcoholism.
Finding treatment centers and understanding addiction recovery resources can help you or your loved one learn the skills and tools necessary to cope with triggers and cravings.
Finding Help Today
Millions of Americans struggle with alcoholism each and every year. To best understand how to help an alcoholic, it’s important to remember that early treatment is the best way to improve recovery outcomes. If you or a loved one is struggling with a drinking problem or alcoholism, call us today at 866.314.3222 to learn more about how our luxury treatment programs can help you recover.