5 Communication Tools for Alcohol Addiction Recovery
Authored by Audra Franchini
At our addiction recovery center, we frequently hear family members ask how to make someone stop drinking alcohol. Honestly, the truth is that family members cannot “make” their loved ones stop drinking alcohol. However, family plays a critical role in addiction recovery and there are many tools to learn how to battle alcohol addiction.
Here are five ways to communicate with your loved one and help alcohol addiction recovery in their life.
To begin, the first step in communicating effectively and helping a loved one face alcohol addiction is to learn all you can about addiction. To help, there are many reputable articles and websites online that provide information about alcoholism. For example, the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has excellent educational articles here. Learn about how addiction affects the brain, impacts relationships, and requires a lifetime commitment to healing and recovery.
Listening is a skill that many of us lack. Primarily, effective listening involves hearing what our loved one has to say as they explain their use of alcohol or their experience of addiction. Also, effective listening involves asking questions that help our loved ones dig into their experience and learn more. So, ask questions like, “Are there things we could do as a family to make it easier for you to access treatment?” and “When our friends and family show up with alcohol, should I tell them to get rid of it?”
Then, once you have learned about addiction and listened to your addicted loved one explain what they are going through, it’s time to formulate your own response and list of expectations. To do this, write a list of the addictive behaviors that are damaging to you, your relationships, and your family. For example, these behaviors can include lying, manipulation, neglecting responsibilities, and demonstrating negative emotions. Decide on your expectations for behavioral change: do you expect your loved one to see an addiction counselor? Meet with an addiction recovery center support group? Seek treatment at a facility? Finally, list the consequences that will be enacted if your loved one does not cooperate with your expectations.
This principle seems strange to include in a list of communication tools. How does “leaving” help improve communication? We mean several things when we say that you need to leave. First, leave your guilt. You are not responsible for the decisions that your loved one has made, or for the behaviors over which they no longer have control. Second, leave situations that tempt you to join and participate in the addiction. Don’t use drugs or alcohol yourself. Don’t enable addiction through financial support.
Many people seek help for alcohol addiction as a result of family intervention. So, the power of your commitment and love should not be underestimated. As your family member accepts the list of behavioral changes you have provided, reassure them of your commitment to supporting them through addiction treatment and long-term recovery. For example, provide transportation, attend meetings, and participate in therapy, as part of your commitment to love and support.
How To Help Alcohol Addiction
Ultimately, the goal of communication tools is to help alcohol addiction by guiding you to a place where your loved one agrees to seek therapy and treatment for their addiction. So, when the conversation about addiction treatment options comes up, be prepared with addiction recovery center treatment options.
In conclusion, if you have a loved one in need of drug or alcohol abuse treatment, Recovery Centers of America can help. Call us and speak to a care consultant anytime, 24/7 by dialing 1-800-RECOVERY.