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How to Help an Alcoholic Friend

How to Help an Alcoholic Friend

Alcohol is a socially accepted central nervous system (CNS) depressant. The drug slows down brain activity and, if abused, causes cognitive impairment and other adverse side effects. Despite being legal, people can build a tolerance and form an addiction to the substance, leading to social, economic, and psychological dilemmas. If you are someone who is witnessing these problems, keep reading to learn how to help an alcoholic friend find recovery.    

My Friend Is an Alcoholic

What are the signs of an alcoholic friend? First, alcoholism and friendship don’t mix well. Watching a close friend slowly form an addiction and change characteristics you once adored is unfortunate and even frightening. There are other signs to notice besides recognizing that your friend drinks too much, and these signs include:  

  • Easily offensive or aggressive 
  • Expresses intense cravings for alcohol 
  • Desiring to stop but continues drinking  
  • Difficulty concentrating during conversations  
  • Poor work ethic or sudden financial problems  
  • Lack of desire to participate in hobbies or activities  
  • Displaying risky behavior such as drinking and driving 

If your friend is showing signs of withdrawal symptoms, this also raises awareness and increases the level of concern for their well-being. An alcohol detox treatment is advised if a person is experiencing short-term symptoms such as poor appetite or weight loss, anxiety, shaking, seizures, or fevers.  

Short-Term Effects of Alcohol

In low doses, it can be fun and enjoyable to enjoy a drink or two with your friend, but when alcohol begins to be misused is when adverse side effects happen. In small amounts, alcohol may reduce tension, slow reflexes, and produce relaxing sensations. However, short-term negative impacts include:  

  • Vomiting 
  • Poor vision 
  • Unconscious  
  • Mood swings 
  • Risky behavior  
  • Alcohol poisoning  
  • Disrupted brain activity  
  • Loss of coordination  
  • Breathing difficulties  

If an alcoholic friend continues chronic drinking, then longer effects may include liver disease, heart failure, pancreatic problems, cancer, and memory loss. It’s essential to speak to a professional and find out the steps you can take to help an alcoholic friend recover and sustain sobriety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and stabilization programs are excellent methods that help individuals find the root of their issues and establish skills to prevent relapse.  

How to Help an Alcoholic Friend

If your friend is an alcoholic, taking helpful precautions to avoid long-term health risks is crucial. Be sure to communicate directly to your friend but in a non-judgmental tone and with compassion. Making eye contact and choosing an appropriate setting and time can increase the chance that your friend will receive medical care. However, it’s equally as important to set boundaries to make sure that you can maintain mentally strong through the process.  

Avoid enabling the alcoholic by giving money or drinking around them. There is no need to blame yourself, but you can help prevent alcohol use in certain circumstances. Help your friend establish a support system and approach others, like professionals, about the subject to get a better understanding and ideas of how to cope with the situation.  

Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Banyan Treatment Center Heartland 

At our Heartland recovery center, we deal with alcohol and relationships, from families to friends. We provide counseling and services to help mend or maintain relationships. From psychoeducational services to our Faith in Recovery program, we provide unique ways for patients to reconnect spiritually, emotionally, and mentally during treatment. Don’t wait to begin the road to recovery now and take back control of your life.  

 Speak to a healthcare professional at Banyan Heartland by calling 888-280-4763 today! Ask about our inpatient residential or outpatient program to get started! 


Related Readings:  

16 Reasons to Stop Drinking 

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
How to Help an Alcoholic Friend
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