Helping An Alcoholic Friend - Rehab Guide

Helping An Alcoholic Friend

Helping An Alcoholic Friend

alcoholic friend

How to help a friend with alcoholism

Are you concerned that a friend may have a problem with drugs or alcohol and are in need of help? If so, you may be wondering – how can I help my alcoholic friend?

Perhaps your friend, neighbour or work colleague is heavily in debt due to gambling or shopping? Maybe they are battling an eating disorder, sex addiction or are always in the wrong relationship? You may well feel helpless where addiction is concerned, and it truly is a baffling illness.

We at Rehab Guide specialise in helping those affected by addiction access the correct professional treatment. We also support family members, friends and loved ones around the whole treatment process, including before and after.

Rehab Guide has years of experience in successfully treating all manner of addictions. We ensure that our patients undergo wholly individualised treatment plans; helping them to recover fully by ensuring that no stone is left unturned.

Effects of alcohol on friendships

Alcoholism affects people beyond just the alcoholic. Friends, family and other people than the person suffering are all likely to experience problems related to the condition. One of the signs of substance abuse and addiction is that a person isolates themselves from their friends and loses interest in activities that previously interested them, including something they used to do with these people. This abandonment may be very painful, as rather suddenly they lose their best friend. Addiction cultivates mistrust, as addicted individuals very regularly lie to their loved ones about their habits, going to significant means to be secretive, deceptive and evasive about their behaviours.

Although you may find approaching the subject of addiction difficult with a friend, you do not have to feel alone nor out of your depth. We are here to offer free support and advice to anyone who is feeling troubled by alcoholism, drug addiction or addiction to food, a person or activity. Drug addiction, alcoholism and process addictions (an addiction to an activity or a person) can and do kill. We cannot stress enough how important it is for you to act if you have concerns for someone close to you.

Signs your friend suffers from an addiction

Whether you suspect a friend has an addiction to a substance such as alcohol or cocaine, or an addiction to an activity such as gambling or sex, there are some signs to look out for that indicate they suffer from this life-threatening illness.

Addiction manifests in many different forms, but it is the behaviours associated with addiction that cause the ultimate in self-destruction. Ask yourself the following questions in relation to your friends problem:

  1. Has your friend become secretive around their drinking, drugging or gambling, (for example)? – Do they try to hide the extent of the problem from you? Do they go missing for substantial periods of time? Do they become defensive or overly reassuring if you mention your concerns to them?
  2. Does your friend suffer from erratic mood swings? – Are they upbeat, full of energy and confidence one minute and anxious and withdrawn the next? Do they appear depressed? Has their demeanour or personality changed? Do they seem to be extremely negative and consumed by their problems?
  3. Has your friend changed the company they keep? – Have they become distant from you and recently started to hang out with new friends that they have had no previous association with. Have they lost interest in things you usually enjoy doing together?
  4. Has your friend become elusive and unreliable? – Have they started to miss or be late for work? Are they always cancelling meeting up with you? Are they difficult to get a response from or contact? Has their contact with you changed or diminished for no apparent reason?
  5. Are they frequently intoxicated? – In the latter stages of addiction, a drink or drug problem becomes increasingly difficult to hide. Do they frequently smell of alcohol, appear high or sedated? If you go out together is their behaviour unpredictable and are they always the last to want to leave?
  6. Has your friend’s appearance changed? – Have they stopped looking after themselves? Has their personal hygiene slipped? Have they lost weight without explanation, or do they look ill?

Answering yes to any of these questions indicates that your friend has a problem at the very least, and at worst an addiction.

Addiction is a life-threatening brain disorder. Your friend is very unlikely to recover by themselves no matter how much they want to. It is vital that they receive the correct bespoke professional help if they are to make any progress. Professional addiction treatment could well save their life and set them on the path to a much brighter future.

Get free and confidential advice from our addiction treatment experts now on 0207 2052845

How to support an alcoholic friend

If you feel that your friend suffers from alcohol addiction, the next step is to speak to them about it. We appreciate that it isn’t always easy to know how to talk to an alcoholic friend, especially if they have been distant and secretive of late. Nevertheless, and regardless of the outcome, you will want to know that you have at least tried.

It is best to speak to your friend when they are not too intoxicated. Any conversation held whilst they are heavily under the influence they are likely to forget. They will be more receptive to taking in what you have to say with a clean and sober mind.

When speaking to your friend, it is helpful to first of all, to understand what addiction actually is. Your friend is much more likely to take the conversation seriously if they know you have conducted your research and understand how addiction impacts on their life.

We suggest that you approach the conversation calmly and with an open mind. Give examples of why you think they have an addiction and be as specific as you can. If they are still in doubt invite them to call Rehab Guide. We can conduct a free of charge addiction treatment assessment over the phone and then advise them accordingly.

How to deal with an alcoholic friend in denial

There is a chance that your alcoholic friend may not be ready to accept that they have a problem or accept that they need help. Where this is the case step back from the situation and know that you have at least tried. Tell your friend that they can talk to you anytime about it if they wish and pass on our number to them. They may be more inclined to discuss their problem in confidence and with a professional.

If your alcoholic friend is in denial and is not ready to admit that they have a problem, this requires specialist treatment, and there is little that you can do. Sometimes an addict needs to feel more negative consequences before they become truly ready to accept help. Writing a letter and getting your feelings out also gives you the ability to reconsider your words and your thoughts and to judge what is helpful and what is not. The activity can provide you with clarity and help you plan to have a better discussion the next time the topic comes up.

How to get an alcoholic help

If your friend is open to the idea of undergoing treatment, then ensuring that they access the right treatment for them is crucial. Treatment should be bespoke and consist of evidence-based treatment methods. Also, the more intensive the treatment programme, the better the chance they have of recovery.

Rehab Guide provides quality CQC registered professional addiction treatment throughout our detox clinics and rehab centres. We tailor our programme to each patient’s individual treatment needs. Where a drug or alcohol dependence is identified, a full medical detox is provided by qualified doctors, nurses and counsellors.

Call us today to find out more about our inpatient rehab programmes and their associated costs.

If rehab is not something your friend or their family can afford, we recommend they contact their local drug and alcohol services for community-based treatment. Mutual aid support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous provide a programme of recovery and a network of support that has helped many to recover.

For a free and confidential addiction treatment assessment and to find out more about our rehab services, call Rehab Guide today on 0207 2052 845

Sign up to our Newsletters by Email