Tips for supporting loved ones with alcohol use disorders

Couple holding hands and speaking with a counselor

The support of friends and family is important in the journey to recovery from alcohol use disorder (AUD). The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which leads research on AUD, shares information on how you can help a loved one.

Participate. Seek a program to help you support your loved one. Programs like Al-Anon Family Groups or Adult Children of Alcoholics can help people understand the disorder, what they can do to help, and their role in a loved one’s recovery.

Be patient. Changing deep habits is hard, takes time, and may require repeated efforts. Practice patience with your loved one and understand that overcoming this disorder is not easy or quick.

Celebrate successes. Pay attention to your loved one during the recovery process. Appreciate successes, no matter how small.

Take care of yourself. Caring for a person who has difficulties with alcohol can be stressful. Ask for support from friends, family, support groups, or mental health professionals. This is especially important if you feel depressed or anxious. Remember that your loved one is ultimately responsible for managing this illness.

For additional support, check out the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator®.

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