How Can You Get Help For an Alcoholic?
How can you get help for an alcoholic?
As with addicts of any kind, alcoholics will ask for help only when they are in pain. Through ‘denial’, the psychopathology of an addictive nature, the alcoholic does not see the internal problems but believes them all to be caused by external issues. Therefore ‘help’, bailing the alcoholic out from the painful consequences of use, prolongs the agony. Genuine help is possible only when one alcoholic reaches out to help another. The giver, not the recipient is the one who is helped. The secret of the alcoholic is therefore to take one’s mind off one’s own difficulties and put it onto helping other alcoholics. In this way, we keep what we give away. It is not possible for other people to help alcoholics other than in short-term ways.
The most effective intervention technique is to say,
‘I love you’ (or ‘You’re important to me.’)
AND (not but)
‘I observe these 3 things’ (give facts, not opinions)
‘I recommend…’ (Be specific and firm, accepting no compromises.)
‘If you do do not agree, I shall…’ (Be specific and stick to it.)