Drinking with an alcoholic encourages them
What can I do as a relative?
If you have a drinking problem, you must make the decision to drink less or to get help yourself. This requires admitting the alcohol problem. This is usually difficult and often takes time. As a relative, it is therefore important to be patient. It often takes several attempts to permanently change drinking behavior. This is completely normal and not a reason to blame anyone.
In addition, willpower alone is not always enough to change behavior. This also has to do with the fact that drinking often has a function - for example, to calm down and to let problems take a back seat. A change in drinking behavior presupposes that these problems are no longer suppressed, but rather actively addressed. Last but not least, such a change is much more strenuous at first than simply leaving everything as it is.
For people who drink a lot of alcohol out of habit - for example to relax or as a "reward" after work - alternatives to alcohol can be helpful, such as a hobby that gives pleasure and relaxes. Maybe you can try something new together.
It can happen that other friends or family members do not support or question the decision to drink less or no more alcohol. If they drink a lot of alcohol themselves or have problem drinking habits, they may lack understanding. As a relative, you can then help establish contact with people who support the decision or who do not drink alcohol themselves - for example in a self-help group.
Last but not least, it is important to know when your own efforts are no longer sufficient: Large amounts of alcohol can make you physically dependent. An addiction is a disease - not a question of will and also not a moral weakness. If someone has already developed an addiction, it will not work without professional support. However, each person affected is responsible for accepting and using this support - even if you as a relative would like to make the decision for him or her.
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