To have a family member go through alcoholism and the subsequent treatment/recovery can be one of the most difficult and distressing realities anyone is ever likely to face. Seeing a loved one in need and suffering is incredibly difficult – particularly in instances where their addiction and associated behaviours have a devastatingly detrimental impact on those around them.
Of course it will always be friends and family members that play the biggest parts in both facilitating full recovery and preventing future relapse. From helping with where to find a local rehab centre to providing day to day support at home to minimising future temptations and so on, there’s a lot of responsibility heaped on the shoulders of loved ones. But even after the addiction has been addressed and the treatment process has been considered successful, there are certain extended problems associated with alcoholism recovery that must be acknowledged and understood.
For example, in a great many instances one of the most difficult long-term challenges faced by recovering alcoholics arrives in the form of financial problems. They may have had little to no money in the first place, they may have lost their jobs due to their alcoholism, they may have spent everything on rehabilitation and they may have very limited job prospects on the other side. In all such instances, financial problems are largely inevitable and are known to be one of the most common triggers of relapse.
In terms of how friends and family members can help, simply throwing endless currency at the individual in question isn’t necessarily the best way to go, for obvious reasons. Nevertheless, helping them avoid the kind of desperate situation where they may revert back to drinking is of the utmost importance. What’s more, it is important to remember that certain recovering alcoholics will feel such a sense of shame that they will do their best to hide crippling financial problems, only getting themselves deeper and deeper into debt.
As such, it is a subject that should and must be discussed out in the open – perhaps seeking the advice of an independent financial adviser or debt counselling service if the situation is particularly dire.
It can also be somewhat difficult both during and after the alcoholism treatment period to establish what exactly represents a normal part of the process and what constitutes a potential health problem. There will inevitably be certain side effects along the way and the damage done prior to seeking treatment will in some instances be lasting, perhaps even permanent. Nevertheless, it is of critical importance to be proactive when it comes to health management and maintenance as to fall into a generally poor state of health could have catastrophic consequences.
If you yourself do not happen to be a doctor, the solution to this particular problem should be relatively obvious. Quite simply, it’s a case of taking the lead and proactively ensuring that the individual in question sees a doctor on a regular basis – even if it means you yourself have to go along with them to make sure they go. A wide variety of health problems can be identified during the rehabilitation and treatment process, while poor health in general has the potential to be a dangerous relapse trigger.
Last but not least, it will inevitably take an extended period of time for the individual in question to once again build bridges and re-establish connections lost due to their alcohol addiction. As a close friend or family member, you yourself will undoubtedly have found your relationship with the individual tested or perhaps even damaged, which is something you cannot afford to simply push to one side and ignore. The simple fact of the matter is that in order for that person in question to effectively rebuild strained and lost relationships, it needs to be a subject that is discussed out in the open and not simply pushed to one side.
If the family in general is having trouble coping with the strain put on key relationships, there are plenty of counselling services and support groups that can help. If on the other hand the relationships in question are outside the family, the loved ones closest to the recovering alcoholic in question have the very real potential to help in rebuilding bridges. After all, others may not yet have seen or heard of the incredible progress that has been made – you yourself are in a perfect position to share your loved one’s successes with others.