Alcoholism is a serious problem that affects not only a person addicted to drinking alcohol, but also their relatives. Alcoholics are often unaware of the seriousness of the situation or push out the problem, so they are unable to get out of the addiction without help. That is why it is worth reaching out a helping hand to a person suffering from alcohol problems and helping them to cope with addiction. How to do it? Details below.
Alcohol addiction phases
The relatives of someone with an alcohol problem usually witness themselves addicted to alcoholism. Man does not become addicted to alcohol overnight. It is a long process and the symptoms of the disease worsen over time. It is worth knowing the different stages of alcohol addiction, because then you can react early.
How does alcoholism develop? Here are the individual phases. The duration of each of them is individual and depends on many factors.
1. Phase one – pre-alcoholic (introductory)
At this stage, drinking alcohol is usually only social and does not arouse suspicion among relatives. The patient enjoys drinking alcohol, which is why he finds opportunities to do so more and more often. Over time, your tolerance to alcohol increases, and you have to drink more and more to get intoxicated. The pre-alcohol phase may last for several years.
2. Phase two – warning (teaser)
It begins with the palimpsest, the first memory gap, when the film “breaks off” while being drunk. The alcohol addict at this stage continues to drink until he or she loses track of where he is and what is happening to him. The next day she doesn’t remember anything she did yesterday. Later, memory gaps appear more and more, even though you have drunk a relatively small amount of alcohol. In addition, the patient tries to hide his drinking, often drinks alone or to cure a hangover.
3. Phase three – critical
The transition to it occurs when you lose control over drinking alcohol. There is nothing that can stop an addict from reaching for alcohol. Even if he stops drinking for a while, he quickly becomes addicted. By constantly drinking, he spoils relationships with loved ones, he begins to have problems at work. The first physical symptoms of addiction appear. The patient is constantly accompanied by a feeling of emptiness and helplessness, and the sense of self-esteem decreases.
4. Phase four – chronic
In this phase, the addicted person does not even try to pretend, but drinks practically all the time. They do not look for excuses, excuses or justifications, they do not pretend in front of themselves and their loved ones. By constantly remaining in the intoxicating phase, the body slowly exhausts itself, which affects both physical and mental health. In the advanced form of alcoholism, psychosis may occur, in which the patient does not even pay attention to what he drinks, and therefore even reaches for poisonous substances (e.g. denatured alcohol).
How to help a person addicted to alcohol?
Before we act, we must first realize that a loved one is struggling with a serious problem that requires treatment. The awareness of alcoholism is difficult for many to bear. There are times, however, when alcoholics do not see the problem or try to deny it. Then, in the first place, such a person should be confronted with the situation and information that he or she is addicted to alcohol.
Let us remember that our role, as a person from the close circle of a person suffering from an alcohol problem, is to make them aware of the seriousness of the problem and show the consequences of drinking. However, we are not able to force her to change her behavior and stop consuming alcohol. It is her individual decision that she has to make herself.
Therapy with a psychologist – the first step to overcome addiction
If a person addicted to alcohol shows a willingness to change his life and stop drinking alcohol, he will need the support of a psychologist in the process of recovery. Alcohol detox, while important, is only half the battle. Therapy is necessary and specialist treatment is started. The psychologist will select the appropriate form of therapy for the patient, which will be a response to his individual needs.
To sum up, if you want to help a person suffering from alcohol addiction, you should make them aware of the seriousness of the situation and make them change, and then find an appropriate therapist.
Remember that this is just the beginning of changes, and the road to overcome addiction will be long and arduous, in addition, it will require a lot of involvement of both the addicted person and people in his close environment. In this difficult time for her, you need to show her support and understanding as well as the necessary help she will need.